When you are sick, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take advance of your local urgent care center. Urgent care centers are designed to help you with protection against seasonal illnesses like cold and flu vaccinations and they can also treat smaller but urgent medical emergencies such as a stress fracture, a broken bone that has not punctured the skin, or minor stitches.
One of the best benefits of visiting your local urgent care is the standard wait time. At an emergency room, the time spent waiting to see a doctor can take hours. While roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid-level provider, and 65% have a physician on-site at all times. When you visit an urgent care center, you can be assured that you will find excellent care from medical professionals with a fraction of the wait time.
In addition to having quick wait times, local urgent care clinics will typically stay open longer than a standard doctor’s office. This is great news since according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under half (48%) of all adult ER patients were who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital sought treatment at the ER because their physicians’ offices were closed.
Meanwhile, more than 66% of urgent care centers open prior to 9:00 am during the week, with significant proportions doing so on Saturday (45.7%) and Sunday (31.1%). The majority of centers remain open until 7:00 pm or later on weeknights (90.6%), with two out of five remaining open until 9:00 pm or later. The longer hours provides more opportunity for patients to seek out treatment without having to miss work.
Urgent care centers are perfect for the busy individual who is looking to return to feeling 100% and wants professional medical care without the expensive bill. Make sure you know where your local urgent care is and what services they offer before you consider going to the emergency room for a minor illness.