The hives started on Friday. At first you thought it was just had a couple of bug bites. By the time you went to bed, however, the bug bite theory had been dismissed. Although you are not certain what has caused the itchy welts, you do know that an over the counter antihistamine is not going to solve the problem.
A new job which you started the week before might indeed be part of the problem. You realized too late that the detergent they use in the classroom washing machine is exactly the same detergent that you have reacted to before. Making the problem is the fact that the new job covers the same hours as your family physician office hours.
Luckily, an urgent care in a strip mall near your new job has more convenient, and extended, hours. A quick stop after you were done at your job provided the treatment that worked and for now you are avoiding the laundry work that may have caused the hives.
Convenient hours are indeed one of the reasons for the success of many urgent care facilities. In fact, much like the urgent care in the strip mall, 90.6% of centers remain open until 7:00 pm or later on weeknights. Another two out of five remain open until 9:00 pm or later. In addition, more than 66% of urgent care centers open earlier than 9:00 am during the week. A significant number, 45.7%, also open early on Saturday. Just over 30% even open early on Sunday. The success of these clinics can be partially measured by the number of patients they serve. Approximately one in five urgent care centers have more than 450 patient visits per week.
Additionally, an urgent care in a nearby location is a less expensive option than an emergency room (ER) visit. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48% of all adult ER patients were who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital sought treatment at the ER because their physicians? offices were closed. An emergency room visit is both expensive and time consuming. Because of their triage procedures, ER staff are often forced to treat patients in an order that is determined by the severity of the patient’s condition. This can mean that a patient seeking treatment for hives, for example, could have a very long wait if patients with more severe, but non-life threatening, conditions come into the ER. Roughly 60% of all urgent care centers, on the other hand, have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid-level provider. And, 65% of all fast care clinics have a physician on-site at all times.
Whether you are seeking treatment for hives or broken bones, urgent care clinics that provide quality care in a time efficient and affordable setting, may be your best option.