Do you find yourself constantly coming down with the flu during flu season? Does hay fever get to you during the change in seasons? Do you consider yourself accident prone—someone’s who’s always got cuts and scrapes that need to heal?
If you said yes to any of those questions and you’re in need of medical care, you could always visit the emergency room or try and schedule and visit with your primary care doctor. If you do either of those, you might be in for a long wait. If you’ve got immediate needs, what the heck are you going to do to get the care you need in short order?
The answer is that question is to visit an urgent care clinic. What is an urgent care clinic? It’s a type of walk-in clinic that will get you in to see a doctor faster and where you can be treated for many types of non life-threating aliments. In fact, more than three million people visit urgent care facilities around the United States each week for a variety of treatments.
The list of symptoms that your local urgent care facility can treat continues to grow seemingly by the year. As it stands, the average urgent care facility can treat people for ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases, muscle strain, dizziness, sprains, common sports injuries, poison ivy and a variety of other things.
Some urgent cares might vary in the services they offer, but what all of them offer is a quicker and more cost-effective way to treat a number of common, everyday medical ailments. If you’re a busy person battling an illness, that’s going to save you both time and money.
Still not convinced? Consider these statistics:
- Dizziness is the second most common complaint heard in doctor’s offices and it occurs in 70% of the American population.
- Somewhere between 5-20% of Americans suffer from the flu every year.
- Americans suffer from about a billion colds annually.
- 65% of people older than 60 experience dizziness or loss of balance, sometimes daily.
- At least 40% of those suffering from chronic low-back pain don’t see a doctor or physical therapist.
- Approximately 25,000 Americans suffer every day from an ankle sprain.
- Up to 69% of Americans say low back pain affects them on a daily basis.
As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get in a lot faster to see a doctor when you visit an urgent care. More than half of urgent care facilities have a wait time of less than 15 minutes and most of them have a physician on site at all times to treat patients quickly.
If you’re always on the go, another benefit of urgent care facilities is that they stay open longer. Depending on where you live, you may find urgent cares that open prior to 9 a.m. and are even open on weekends. Most are open until at least 7 p.m. on weekdays and some are even open until 9 p.m. or later.
So what else can an urgent care do for you?
- Seven in ten urgent care centers can provide IV fluids when needed.
- About 40% of urgent care centers use electronic prescription ordering systems and many of them use computerized systems to collect patient data, clinical notes and billing information.
- A physician or a group of top doctors owns about 50% of urgent care centers, which gives that person or group of people a vested interested in having the facility run to the best of its ability.
If you’ve got a life-threatening issue such as chest pain or bleeding, do what’s best for your health and please visit the emergency room. You don’t want to roll the dice on your health just to save a few bucks or a few minutes. Emergency room doctors play an important role in medical care and if you’re suffering from a severe injury or something very serious like food poisoning (something near 50 million Americans experience each year), they’re the aones to see.
But for non life-threatening injuries and common, easily-treatment symptoms and conditions, an urgent care facility can save you time and money while offering you treatment for a wide variety of things.