When you have a pressing medical problem that isn’t life-threatening but should be addressed quickly, a trip to the emergency room isn’t always the most viable option — nor is scheduling a doctor’s appointment that could be a week in the future. That’s why urgent care centers exist.
About 3 million patients in the United States visit an urgent care center every week, and for good reason. There are a number of great reasons to visit an urgent care center, including:
– Longer hours of operation: Many walk in clinic hours, if not 24/7, at least stay open until the evening and open before 8 a.m. This makes family walk in clinics a great option for families with working parents and busy schedules! There are some facilities with 24 hr urgent care walk in clinic hours, but these tend to be less common.
– Less expensive: The average emergency room visit isn’t cheap — sometimes it can actually cost thousands of dollars! An urgent care center is far less expensive, averaging at about $100 for people without insurance.
– No appointments needed: Unlike a doctor’s office, where you have to schedule appointments well in advance, you can walk in to an urgent care center during walk in clinic hours and be seen by a physician within a few minutes. This is a great convenience if you need to speak with a physician about something that can’t wait a few days. Between 5 and 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu each year — stop in at an urgent care center, and you can get your flu shot within a few minutes!
– Less wait time: In most urgent care centers, you’ll be able to be seen by a physician soon after you arrive. 110 million people visit emergency rooms across the U.S. each year, and wait times are usually less than desirable because of this. If you have a non-life-threatening medical issue that needs to be addressed, an urgent care center is the way to go.
There are approximately 6,800 urgent care centers in the United States currently. They can provide a variety of services — they can even offer lab services, X-rays and routine physicals. Take advantage of all these centers have to offer — they’re there to help you! Reference links.