Published on: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 News

New Urgent Care Opens in Takoma Park: Q & A


On Monday, August 26, Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care opened in Takoma Park, in the former Washington Adventist Hospital Emergency Department. For many, it can be hard to know when to go to the Emergency Department (ED) or to an Urgent Care, especially in a sudden medical situation. Here’s what you need to know about how to make the right decision for you and your family.

What is the difference between ED and Urgent Care?

The best way to remember if the ED is right for you is if your medical situation or condition is life-threatening. Urgent care centers can handle nonlife-threatening injuries or illnesses and often have shorter wait times and cost less than an ED visit. Urgent care centers are a great place if you’re not feeling well and can’t get an appointment with your primary care doctor.

Many urgent care centers have on-site labs and x-rays and are open daily with extended hours. Urgent Care centers are also able to see most people, ages six months and up.

When should I go to the ED?

An ED may be best for you if you experience any of the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Broken bones
  • Head or eye injuries
  • Seizures
  • Severe burns
  • Animal bites
  • Uncontrolled, severe bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Signs of a stroke, such as weakness or numbness on one side and slurred speech
  • Appendicitis
  • Pregnancy-related medical issues
  • Changes in your mental state

Remember to always call 9-1-1 if you experience loss of consciousness, signs of a heart attack or stroke, shortness of breath or life/limb-threatening injury.

When should I go to Urgent Care?

Urgent care may be best for you if you have any of the following:

  • Allergies, Asthma
  • Cold, flu, fever
  • Cough
  • Minor cuts
  • Nausea
  • Rashes or other common skin infections
  • Sore throat
  • Earaches
  • Pink eye
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Stomach aches, nausea or diarrhea
  • Sprains or strains

If you have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure or cholesterol, an urgent care center won’t be able to manage your condition. For those types of conditions, see your primary care provider.

How should I prepare for a visit to Urgent Care?

It’s always a good idea to bring a valid ID, insurance card, payment information and known allergies and a list of your medications to any appointment, whether it is with your primary care doctor, specialist or urgent care center. Your list of medications should include how much and how often you take. It’s also recommended to know how much your co-pay is for a visit to urgent care. You can find this out by calling your insurance provider. Most insurance companies cover urgent care visits, but it’s best to know your particular plan’s coverage.

What types of providers will be available at Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care in Takoma Park?

All Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care locations are staffed to handle all urgent care issues. Centers have either a physician, licensed nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant and are under the direction of our medical director. The center will also have on-site x-rays with a licensed x-ray technician available.

How can I be seen at Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care?

The Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care in Takoma Park will be open 24/7 and accepts walk-ins. For more information about Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care, visit


This article appeared in the September 2019 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.