Emergency medicine is a medical specialty in which a physician receives practical training to provide patients with acute illnesses or injuries which require immediate medical attention. While not usually providing long-term or continuing care, emergency medicine physicians diagnose a variety of illnesses and undertake acute interventions to stabilize the patient. Emergency medicine physicians practice in hospital emergency departments, in pre-hospital settings via emergency medical service, other locations where initial medical treatment of illness takes place, and recently the Intensive-care unit. Just as clinicians operate by immediacy rules under large emergency systems, emergency practitioners aim to diagnose emergent conditions and stabilize the patient for definitive care.
Urgent Care Centers are often staffed by physicians, physician assistants, nurses and licensed nurse practitioners(LPN) who may or may not be formally trained in emergency medicine. They offer primary care treatment to patients who desire or require immediate care, but who do not reach the acuity that requires care in an emergency department or admission to a hospital.
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