You’re struggling with unexplained nausea and migraines. Your condition isn’t severe enough for the emergency room, but it’s gone on for days and you’re worried. Where do you go?
Urgent care is designed to be the in-between you need when your health starts to dip. Handling minor to moderate injuries or illnesses on a regular basis, urgent care centers can save you a lot of time and money on your way to a more stable year. They boast small waiting times, so you’re never lingering in the reception room while your condition gets worse. They offer lower prices than your average hospital or emergency room, which is ideal if you’re without insurance or still struggling to get full coverage. You can even receive preventative care with cheap STD testing and flu shots.
Before you choose a family walk in clinic, though, it’s important to know what it can and can’t do.
American healthcare is seeing another overhaul. Prepare yourself throughout the year by looking at urgent care centers in your area and choosing the one that best fits your schedule. While there are always times to meet with your regular doctor or visit the emergency room an immediate care center will ensure the day-to-day struggles are taken care of in an affordable manner. The United States alone boasts over 6,800 urgent care centers, all with different schedules, hybrid models and price ranges. Their unifying trait, however, is that they’re one of the best ways for American families to receive basic care.
What else should you know about an urgent care center? Perhaps the most important are their low price models and brief wait times. The average wait time at an urgent care center is just 15 minutes, meaning you’ll be in and out in no time at all. While not all urgent care models are available at all times of the day, their relative flexibility and fast approach compared to other medical centers make them indispensable to those that need care as soon as possible so their condition doesn’t get worse. Nearly two-thirds of all centers employee a mixture of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
It’s important to note that some urgent care center models are closed on weekends or at nights. Double-checking the urgent care centers in your area will save you a lot of stress when you need a last-minute appointment. Some also offer pediatric care, while others are a hybrid model that offer emergency rooms alongside standard urgent care settings. It’s estimated just 30% of primary care doctors offer after-hours coverage. Emergency room visits also number 110 million every year. How do you know which one to choose when you’re in pain?
Severe pain, allergic reactions and stab wounds should be taken to the emergency room immediately. Likewise, minor to moderate pain can wait to be seen by a family doctor or brought to urgent care centers in the area. Your average urgent care facility treats the common cold, influenza and fevers alongside abdominal pain, migraines and chest pain. A recent study provided by the Rand Corporation back in 2010 found as many as out out of every five ER visits could have instead been treated at urgent care centers. This translates to nearly $4 billion saved every year in healthcare costs alone.
Preventative care can also keep you from visiting medical centers too often. Your flu shot is offered every year to keep up with new virus strains, so make sure to drop by your nearby urgent care centers and ask for a check-up. Local STD testing and physicals are also done to make sure nothing slips under your nose. The average child will catch anywhere from six to 10 colds in a year. Some of the most common issues brought to urgent care centers are not just illnesses, but cuts, burns and sprains. Even if you’ve never been to one before you can be seen and treated in a short time frame, regardless of medical history.
Your health is important. A multicare urgent care center will ensure it’s good to go no matter what.