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Urgent care or emergency care?

Illnesses and injuries don’t always happen during regular office hours. If you need care when your regular doctor isn’t available, how do you know whether to seek care at the hospital emergency department or an urgent care center? Below are some guidelines.

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Urgent Care

An urgent care center is designed to supplement your family doctor’s care after hours, on weekends, or when you are unable to get an appointment. Hours vary but are generally limited to daytime; some offer evening hours.

When to go to an urgent care center:

  • Colds, coughs, flu, fever
  • Minor injuries such as a sprain
  • Minor car accidents
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Allergies
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Minor burns
  • Minor cuts
  • Pink eye
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Need for stitches
  • Migraine
  • Urinary tract infections

Emergency Care

A hospital emergency department is designed to treat serious or life-threatening illnesses and injuries and is always open.

When to seek emergency care:

  • Car accident injuries
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Fall from a significant height
  • Serious head or neck injury
  • Any loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • High fever that doesn’t get better with medicine
  • Bone fracture with open wound
  • After swallowing poison
  • Seizure
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe burns
  • Electric shock
  • Suspicion of exposure to a serious communicable disease
  • Choking
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Unusual or bad headache

To reduce the chances you will need emergency or urgent care, establish a relationship with a primary care doctor for regular care.


Fast and convenient care from your smartphone, computer, or tablet, 24/7, for common non-emergency symptoms. No appointment needed.

23625 Holman Highway, Monterey

(Community Hospital is a minority owner of this center)
245 Washington Street, Monterey MAP
(831) 372-CARE (2273)

3130 Del Monte Boulevard, Marina MAP
(831) 883-3330

501 Lighthouse Avenue, Monterey MAP
(831) 649-0770

1513 Fremont Blvd., Suite E1, Seaside MAP
(831) 899-1910

1212 South Main Street, Salinas MAP
(831) 422-7777

1756 North Main Street, Salinas MAP
(831) 443-8200

Montage Health

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

Montage Health Foundation

Montage Medical Group

Montage Wellness Center

Aspire Health Plan

MoGo Urgent Care logo

Community Health Innovations