Emergencies and After-Hours Care

Medical Emergencies

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

You can also use a proximity search on your mobile device or desktop computer to find a hospital emergency room near you. If you’re insured and circumstances allow, contact your insurance company to determine which hospital emergency rooms are in-network. We recommend doing this and saving the information in your phone before you have an emergency.

24/7 Nurse Advice Line

For non-emergency medical concerns, speak with a nurse for recommendations on self-care advice or information on when you should see a healthcare provider.


Mental Health Emergencies

Call the 24/7 CMHC Crisis Line at 512-471-2255.

View additional resources.


Known HIV Exposure

Call the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line immediately to be evaluated for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is only effective within the first 72 hours after exposure.


Sexual Assault

If you’re in immediate danger or need urgent medical care, call 911. If not, view information on sexual assault forensic exams.


Navigating Non-Emergency Situations When UHS is Closed

If you require medical attention for illness or injury outside of UHS operating hours:

  • Visit an urgent care facility for prompt medical care.
  • Contact the 24/7 UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877 if:
    • Unsure about the urgency or type of care needed.
    • Seeking guidance on self-care at home.
  • Schedule a UHS appointment online or call 512-471-4955 during business hours for non-urgent symptoms that don't significantly impact daily activities.

When UHS is closed, St. David’s Hospital triage nurses handle the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line. They can't schedule UHS appointments or assist with specific facility referrals or administrative matters.

Considerations for Urgent Care and Emergency Room Visits

  • Healthcare costs vary; patients are responsible for all expenses.
  • Some insurance plans cover only true medical emergencies in emergency room visits. Check your plan's coverage beforehand.
  • Refer to the chart below for cost considerations and differences between urgent care and emergency facilities.
  Urgent Care (UC) Facilities Hospital Emergency Rooms (ERs)
General Scope of Care (See examples of conditions treated below.)
  • Treats many non-severe, non-life-threatening acute conditions.
  • Many can perform x-rays
  • Can run basic diagnostic lab tests (e.g. strep throat, urinary tract infections, etc.)
  • Treats severe or life-threatening conditions
  • More sophisticated equipment and capabilities (e.g. advanced imaging, extensive lab, surgical facilities, etc.)
  • Many have specialists on staff
Access to Hospital Care
  • Usually free-standing
  • Not physically part of a hospital
  • Usually physically part of a hospital with easy transfer to advanced care or admission
Hours of Operation
  • Usually open late with weekend/holiday hours
  • Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Wait Time
  • Typically, shorter than ERs
  • Usually see patients on a first come, first served basis
  • Significantly less than ERs
  • Some insurance plans consider UC visits to be a ‘specialist’ visit with a higher co-pay charge
  • Patient portion for payment expected at time of visit
  • Much higher than UC charges
  • Some insurance plans have higher co-pays for ER visits
  • Many insurance plans will not pay for ER visits made for non-emergency conditions that could be treated at a UC
Examples of Conditions Treated (not exhaustive list)
  • Flu symptoms
  • Fever with a rash
  • Bronchitis or severe cough with fever
  • Sprains or minor fractures
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Minor cuts requiring stitches
  • Animal or insect bites
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Paralysis
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe head or eye injuries
  • Serious burns
  • Dizziness, weakness or confusion
  • Severe chest pain or pressure or irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden testicular pain or swelling
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Profuse sweating
  • Severe physical trauma