When you or someone you care about suddenly gets sick or gets involved in a minor accident, you need to immediately decide where to go for medical care. While a trip to the emergency room may be the first thing that comes to your mind, one alternative that you can consider is visiting an urgent care clinic. Urgent care centers are accessible and affordable, and they also have a team of doctors and physician assistants who are equipped with emergency and family medicine training.
What are Urgent Care Clinics?
An urgent care clinic is a type of walk-in clinic that focuses on providing immediate medical care for low-risk health conditions. They are suitable for treating minor medical emergencies or non-life threatening injuries and illnesses that still require same-day treatment. A patient does not need to make an appointment when going to an urgent care clinic for medical treatment, however, waiting time may vary depending on the number of patients present at the time of check-in.
Why Go to an Urgent Care Facility instead of an ER?
One of the main reasons why you should consider going to an urgent care clinic instead of an emergency room is when the nature of the medical emergency is less serious, meaning, it is unlikely to endanger your life or result in permanent damage or loss of a body part. Urgent care clinics provide a wide range of services, similar to what emergency departments provide, including laboratory and preventative health services. Below are the services offered urgent care centers:
Various laboratory services are available in urgent care clinics. If you need to undergo lab work such as blood testing, urinalysis, X-ray, specimen collection and the like, you may make an appointment in an urgent care clinic.
Treatment of Illness
Urgent care facilities are equipped with laboratory tools and equipment that can help doctors diagnose your health issue so you can receive the proper medication and treatment. Some of the most common health conditions that can be treated in an urgent care facility include asthma, allergic reactions, flu, pink eye, bronchitis, and infections. You may also be treated in an urgent care clinic if you are experiencing headache, dehydration, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Treatment of Minor Injury
If you have been injured due to an accident or fall, you may visit an urgent care clinic to receive immediate care. Urgent care clinics also offer relief for animal bites, severe bumps, cuts, and abrasions that need stitches as well as minor fractures and moderate back problems. Sports-related injuries such as ACL and sprains, and physical injuries that occur at work may also be treated in urgent care clinics.
Not only do urgent care clinics provide medical care, they also offer a variety of preventative health services, medication management and routine health checks. Well-child checks, well-woman exams, and physicals are available in urgent care clinics.
Since life-threatening medical situations are prioritized in emergency rooms, going to an urgent care clinic is the better option if your health condition also requires treatment within the same day. Urgent care clinics provide the same quality healthcare hospitals do but you don’t have to wait in line long or spend as much money on services.