If you’ve ever had to wait in the emergency room because of an accident, injury, or illness, you know that it can be a long time before you will actually see a doctor. One way to get the medical care you need without having to deal with long lines is to seek a 24 hr urgent care center in your city or town. These centers not only serve as emergency walk in clinics but also can provide you with a primary care physician you can see on a regular basis if needed.
Some people are wary of going to a 24 hr urgent care center for their ailments because they may not know enough about these centers. What is an urgent care center? Urgent care centers provide medical services and treatments for conditions that require rapid attention but are not serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room. Some of the most common conditions treated in urgent care centers include sprains and strains, fractures, upper respiratory illnesses, gastrointestinal conditions (e.g. food poisoning), lacerations, and concussions. If necessary, a physician at an urgent care clinic can refer you to a specialist or prescribe medications and other treatment right there in the urgent care facility. These facilities can also provide services such as confidential STD testing and other services related to medical tests and sexual health.
Many urgent care facilities are fairly new, as these are one of the fastest-growing segments of the American healthcare system. Although they may not be the traditional doctors offices and hospitals you’re used to, about two-thirds of these centers employ a mix of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Roughly the same number of centers (65%) has a lease one physician on-site at all times, including those clinics which operate 24 hours a day.
One of the biggest reasons for the industry’s growth is that traditional doctors offices today have increased caseloads, which makes scheduling appointments a hassle and forces patients to spend more time waiting and less time actually seeing their doctors. Therefore, the big advantage of visiting an urgent care clinic is that you can see a doctor any time, without having to schedule an appointment far in advance.
Next time you or a loved one has an injury or illness that you know is not life-threatening, skip the emergency room. Find a 24 hr urgent care center near you and get back to feeling healthy ASAP. Good references here: doctorsexpresscherrycreek.com