Why You Should Avoid the ER

After hours urgent care

There are only a few places that offer urgent care 24 hrs. a day. One of them is the emergency room, which is one of the most common places to head if you have an illness or injury. Another option is an urgent care center. While not all urgent care centers are open 24 hours a day, they do often provide care beyond normal business hours, 7 days a week.

These centers have been growing in popularity for the last few decades, and the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) sponsored the first fellowship training program in urgent care medicine in 2006. Each of these facilities staff licensed nurses and medical professionals, and are required to have a physician on-site at all times. Other criteria outlined by the UCAOA are mandatory on-site diagnostic services, which include x-ray and phlebotomy. Urgent care facilities also function as walk in clinics, as no appointments are necessary during business hours.

Unlike the ER, the wait time in an urgent care facility is short. A UCAOA survey showed that more than half of all urgent care patients wait a maximum of 15 minutes. The survey also uncovered that about 80% of all visits take less than an hour in an urgent care center. In addition, the average cost of a visit is less than $150. This is a stark contrast to the average $1500 trip to the ER, and the countless hours spent in an ER waiting room.

A CDC study showed that about half of the patients waiting for urgent care in the ER were only there because their physicians offices were closed. For many of these people, urgent care could be a viable option. They could get care for less serious, non-life threatening illnesses and health problems without as much hassle.

If you need urgent medical care, consider finding a center that offers urgent care 24 hrs. a day. You will be able to get immediate care without the wait, and you will have access to the same level of medical attention as you would in a hospital ER, without the hefty price tag. For more, read this link.

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