Getting medical treatment when you have a legitimate medical concern is a hugely important thing, but it is something that far too many people go without. Medical care can be largely inaffordable, and those without health insurance often feel that they don’t have anywhere to go except the emergency room. The emergency room often has extensive wait times – with an average wait time that nears one full hour – and exorbitant prices, with the typical visit, no matter how minor, often costing upwards of one thousand dollars. When faced with this as their only option, many people simply decide to forgo medical care altogether, something that could end up being severely detrimental to their overall health.
Urgent care centers, which are becoming more and more popular across the country, serving as many as three million patients in just one week, provide an alternative to the emergency room and an option for fast and effective treatment. Urgent care centers are open at times that regular doctors offices are not, with more than eighty percent (eighty five percent, to be exact) open every single day of the week. The typical walk in clinic will also have earlier morning hours and be open later in the evening, making it ideal for the working person, or even just the person who leads too busy of a life to accurately schedule regular doctor’s appointments with their general care practitioner. On top of all of this, the wait times in the average urgent care location are for more ideal than the wait times that you will likely see in any given emergency room. While you’ll often wait for up to an hour or more before even being seen by a nurse in the emergency room, urgent care locations often see their patients within a mere fifteen minutes of their arrival, and the typical patients will often be in and out all within the span of just a single hour, a period of time after which you would likely still just be sitting in the waiting room had you made the choice to go to the emergency room instead.
But what kind of treatments can the typical urgent care center provide and are they really the same quality as what would be offered you at the average emergency room? In a word, yes. It’s been found that less than five percent of all cases seen in the typical urgent care center needed to be transported to a nearby emergency room, but that more than half of all of the cases seen in an emergency room could have thoroughly been treated by an urgent care center. And urgent care centers are typically able to treat more serious cases than the majority of people realize. In fact, as many as eighty percent of them (four such medical centers out of every five) or even able to diagnose and treat fractures. Of course, serious and life threatening problems should be seen by an emergency room as soon as physically possible, but more minor or even moderate to severe conditions can be treated by one of the twenty thousand doctors working at medical walk in clinics all around the United States.
Of course, minor health concerns are typically seen at urgent care centers, such as the common cold, of which there are more than one billion cases of per year. The flu is also often seen, as many Americans, as many as twenty percent of them, depending on the strain of flu that is circulating that year, will contract the disease by the time that flu season has drawn to a finite close. Urinary tract infections (also known as UTIs) are also commonly seen at urgent care centers, with more than eight million cases treated by doctors around the country each and every year.
For the typical person living in the United States, going to the doctor can be scary particularly because of the bill that they know that they will be saddled with. Urgent care centers around country provide a viable alternative to this conundrum, particularly for those who do not have medical insurance or health care coverage.