Many people have a trusted primary care physician that they see for regular check-ups and illnesses. There are several benefits to having a reliable doctor you see regularly. One of the best reasons is that the doctor gets to know you and your medical history. This means they can easily spot or detect a condition that is abnormal for you. Over time, you trust this person and feel comfortable discussing all your medical questions. But sometimes, it’s just not possible to make it to your doctor’s office. And that’s why urgent cares are a great alternative. These facilities offer qualified staff and a long list of services to treat you when your doctor can’t. Read on to learn the many benefits of urgent care facilities and tips for knowing when to go.
Benefits of Visiting an Urgent Care
This is the main reason people visit urgent care facilities. Most urgent cares are open 7 days a week, unlike regular physicians who close on Sundays and offer limited hours on Saturdays. If you’re feeling ill or suspect an infection, urgent care doctors can see you that same day and prescribe antibiotics or other medication. In most cases, the urgent care will send a full report to your primary care physician, detailing the reason for your visit, diagnosis, and recommended treatment. This way, you and your doctor can discuss your condition once the office reopens.
Prevents a Trip to the ER
Going to the emergency room (ER) can be a hassle, especially if your condition isn’t an emergency. Not only does this clog up the hospital system (preventing patients with true emergencies from getting fast care), but it’s also extremely time consuming for you. Depending on the ER you visit, wait times can range anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours! In most cases, unless you’re having difficulty breathing, suspect you have a broken bone, or are bleeding profusely, an urgent care facility can address your needs.
Extensive Care Options
Urgent care facilities offer more than just a diagnosis for the common cold or infection. Most facilities are equipped with X-ray machines, EKG machines, and lab testing. That means you can visit an urgent care facility for a wide range of ailments, injuries, or illnesses and be treated much faster than a trip to the ER. Not to mention, urgent care facilities treat patients of all ages. Parents, children, and grandparents can all receive the same level of care at the same time.
Quality Doctors and Staff
Some people are fooled into thinking that urgent care facility doctors aren’t qualified or reputable. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most urgent care doctors either have (or have had) their own practice or worked in the emergency room before moving to urgent care. Many have years of experience working with a wide range of patients and conditions. Urgent care doctors are more than qualified to diagnose and treat any issue you have.
Besides the long wait time you may encounter at the ER, you could also be faced with a hefty bill. Urgent care facilities pride themselves in offering quality care at reasonable costs. If you’re suffering from a chronic condition that requires repeat visits to the doctor’s office, you’ll want to take the cost effective route of visiting an urgent care versus the hospital whenever possible. Most facilities accept all major insurances and pride themselves in offering patients fast and efficient service at a reasonable price.
Although the volume of patients and severity of their conditions may vary, the average wait time at most urgent care facilities is under 30 minutes. That’s in comparison to waiting several hours at the emergency room. Urgent cares are both efficient and accurate. The nurses are professionally trained and skilled at moving patients through the office quickly. But don’t worry, every patient still receives the care and attention they need for an accurate diagnosis.
Reasons to Go
When sickness hits or you incur an unexpected injury, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to go. If your primary doctor is available and your illness isn’t life-threatening, you should call the office. All life-threatening injuries should be directed to the emergency room or patients should call 911. But for other, less serious conditions, an urgent care facility is the perfect solution. Here are a few examples of when to use an urgent care facility.
If you suspect you’ve strained or sprained a part of your body (commonly your ankle, knees, wrist, or knees), an urgent care can help. In fact, this is one of the most common injuries since in urgent care facilities. Sprains or strains are often caused by falls or a sudden jarring motion to the joint, damaging ligaments. Doctors will determine the severity of the injury. Most side effects of a sprain include swelling, pain, bruising, or stiffness. Once you’ve been examined, the urgent care doctor will offer advice such as resting and elevating the injury, using hot or cold compresses, and taking over the counter pain medication.
Cold and Flu Symptoms
Cold and flu season, which runs from the fall through winter, is one of the busiest times for urgent care facilities. It’s recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months gets their flu shot. But even with a flu shot, some patients still contract the flu. Other cold symptoms that are commonly treated at an urgent care facility include chest congestion, cough, sore throat, and headache. The doctor will perform an exam and flu test to determine the proper course of action.
Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea puts patients at risk for dehydration. If you experience these symptoms for longer than a couple of days, you should seek medical attention. Gastrointestinal issues can include a stomach “bug” or virus, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), food poisoning, or colitis, among others. The urgent care doctor will ask questions about your condition, the onset, and other symptoms to determine the cause.
Don’t discount the quality of service that urgent care centers can offer. If your doctor is unavailable or you need immediate attention, these clinics are a great alternative. You’ll receive quality care fast and can meet with your primary physician at a later date to discuss your diagnosis.
Article Submitted By Community Writer