Top 4 Reasons to Check Out Urgent Care

We all know that we need to take better care of our health, but it can often be difficult to fit doctor’s appointments around the other, more pressing demands on our time. Many people can’t afford to take time off work to see the doctor or perhaps their doctor doesn’t offer weekend appointments or appointments during lunch hours. What’s one to do? Unfortunately, injuries, illnesses, and other medical issues don’t wait for a convenient time to show up. And though it’s important to have a primary care physician, looking at urgent care centers as another resource to receive medical treatments and care is a great idea. There are around 20,000 physicians who are practicing urgent care medicine and the Urgent Care Association of America reports that around three million patients seek treatment at urgent care centers every week.

What Can I Use Urgent Care For and What Do I Need to Know?

Urgent care centers are a great place to go if you’re seeking We all know that we need to take better care of our health, but it can often be difficult to fit doctor’s appointments around the other, more pressing demands on our time. Many people can’t afford to take time off work to see the doctor or perhaps their doctor doesn’t offer weekend appointments or appointments during lunch hours. What’s one to do? Unfortunately, injuries, illnesses, and other medical issues don’t wait for a convenient time to show up. And though it’s important to have a primary care physician, looking at urgent care centers as another resource to receive medical treatments and care is a great idea. There are around 20,000 physicians who are practicing urgent care medicine and the Urgent Care Association of America reports that around three million patients seek treatment at urgent care centers every week.

What Can I Use Urgent Care For and What Do I Need to Know?

Urgent care centers are a great place to go if you’re seeking medical treatments for non-life-threatening circumstances and need flexibility. For example, a urinary tract infection (which make up over eight million visits to the doctor annually) or a bad flu are often treated at urgent care centers. In 2012, the diagnosis seen most often at urgent care centers was for an upper respiratory condition and wound repair was the most common procedure conducted.

Most urgent care centers take insurance and you can even make an appointment ahead of time at some centers, if you want to be assured of a quick in-and-out time. Do bear in mind though, that unlike your primary care physician, they won’t have access to your whole medical history, so be as thorough in giving them information as possible for an accurate diagnosis, if it’s something a bit more complicated (say a skin rash) than the average cold or a sprain.

Some urgent care centers may also offer services apart from medical treatments, like X-rays, physicals, and flu shots or other vaccinations. You can always call ahead to see if the center you’re looking for offers these services.

What are the Benefits of Utilizing Urgent Care for Medical Treatments?

Flexibility

One of the greatest benefits of urgent care is that it offers patients more flexibility when it comes to their medical care. Many urgent care centers offer extended hours, either opening earlier than most doctors’ offices or closing later and 85% of urgent care centers are open every day of the week. This allows people to get in before or after their work day to be seen or on the weekends.

Less Waiting Around

The average wait time for urgent care centers hovers around 15 minutes and most
patients are in and out within an hour — not bad if you consider how long the wait time can be at your doctor’s office, or God forbid, the emergency room. Urgent care centers tend to be less crowded, which means you can get seen in a decent amount of time, and get on with your day.

Less Expensive
If you or a loved one has an injury or illness that requires care fairly promptly (but isn’t life-threatening), most people’s minds jump to the emergency room. However, that can be a costly option. In many cases, urgent care can provide similar care to what you’d receive an emergency room for a sprain or high fever, but at a fraction of the cost.

Expanding Services

As previously stated above, some urgent care centers are also offering expanded care. Nearly four out of five urgent care centers can handle fracture care, for example, while others may have X-ray equipment or testing facilities nearby, so you can get results faster. As urgent care centers become increasingly integrated into the medical care landscape, this could become ever more prevalent.

Urgent care centers help fill in an important gap between a regular trip to the doctor and an emergency room visit. They can provide a little more than walk-in centers without the price and long waits an an emergency room. You’ll receive top-notch medical care that fits your needs and schedule. What’s not to love?

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