If you’re looking to get the right kind of medical care, your options are many. Having a family doctor or general care practitioner, for one thing, is ideal, as is having a pediatrician for your children, if you have any. Having a GP means that you will be able to go in for medical care with someone who you know and trust, as well as someone who thoroughly understands your medical history. For people with a relatively complex medical background, this is something that can be quite hugely important indeed. Working with a GP also means that you are more likely to go in for regular wellness check ups – which you should ideally be doing at least once over the course of a year.
However, going to your general care practitioner is not always an option. For one thing, GP offices are often closed during the holidays. In addition to this, they are likely to have very limited office hours, if any at all. For many people, seeking out medical care is only possible in the early morning or later evening – when most general care doctors are not in the office. Therefore, many people, even those of us who are lucky enough to have a GP or family doctor, must at some point look for an alternative to their medical care. Fortunately, there are a number of different options out there for just this.
For one thing, you could go to the local emergency room. The emergency room is a common institution, one that can be found in just about any community (or at least in a neighboring one that is easy to access). And the emergency room, of course, is a hugely valuable resource. After all, going to the emergency room while in the midst of a life threatening situation is something that is likely to save your life. For many people, going to the emergency room is ideal.
But there are also times when going to the emergency room is MUCH less than ideal, to say the very least. For one thing, emergency room wait times are incredibly long if you do not need immediate medical care. In fact, recent data even suggests that the average time to wait in a hospital emergency room is one full hour – if not even longer. And even once you have been given a bed, the doctors and nurses working in the ER are likely overworked and understaffed, meaning that your care and treatment will take much longer than it otherwise would.
Emergency rooms are also hugely expensive, especially for those who do not have insurance. Even a minor emergency room visit can cost a tremendous amount of money, with the average ER visit actually costing more than $1,000. We have seen costs rise for medical care and with them, the amount of medical debt that far too many people are facing. Therefore, going to the urgent care center is all too often not ideal for a whole host of reasons.
Fortunately, urgent care centers provide a viable alternative. In recent years, urgent care locations have been on the rise, with now more than 7,000 of them found all throughout the United States. These urgent care clinics staff upwards of 20,000 doctors, a number that is only growing with the progression of time. In addition to this, up to three million people are serviced by these walk in urgent care centers with each and every week, with more than a full quarter of all people in the United States attending an urgent care location at least once over the course of the last couple of years.
Urgent care locations can, after all, treat a wide range of different medical conditions. For one thing, they can treat fractures and ankle sprains, as up to four fifths of all urgent care clinics have the equipment necessary to do this. In addition to this, treating respiratory illnesses is hugely common, as such infections are the most diagnosed condition in the typical urgent care clinic. Wound repair is also common, in fact more common than any other medical procedure performed. And, of course, preventative care can also often be given in your typical urgent care facility.