Four Things You Should Know About Going to Urgent Care

Many people might wonder where they should go if they are in need of medical attention. They might wonder, how far is the nearest hospital? However, when people go to hospitals, a lot of the time they end up waiting in the emergency room for several hours, even if they are dealing with a matter of medical urgency. This is why it might be considered better to go to urgent care for either emergency care or non emergency care.

If you go to urgent care, a lot of the time you will be able to get the assistance you need in a more timely manner than you would at the emergency room. You should call the urgent care facility to which you are planning to go first, in order to see what kinds of conditions they treat. You want to make sure that they are actually going to treat you before you take the time to go there so that you make sure that you do not make an unnecessary trip. An urgent care center can be very helpful to many people, and you should definitely give it a chance to see if they will be able to help you.

Skip the wait urgent care

Why do minor injuries and illnesses always arise when it’s a night or weekend and your doctor isn’t available to see you for three or four days? The problem with minor injuries and illnesses is that they often need treatment sooner rather than later (or they won’t remain minor) but they don’t warrant the hassle and misery that comes with going to the emergency room. In fact, when you take minor injuries and illnesses to the emergency room, you’re tying up invaluable resources that are meant to save lives.

That being said, the point of this point is to take about the third option for treating your minor injuries and illnesses, family urgent care clinics. Here’s what you need to know:

Four Things You Should Know About Going to Urgent Care

    1. Urgent care isn’t just for urgent medical needs.

      By definition, urgent care is intended for medical needs that need to be treated in less than 24 hours. However, the real value of urgent care reaches far beyond that. Urgent care clinics are set up to accommodate a large range of medical needs, whether or not they should be treated within 24 hours.

      Nearly anything that you would go to your regular doctor for you can get at an urgent care clinic (we emphasize the word “nearly”, which we will address in a minute). Issues like stomach pain, minor burns or back pain that might not demand an ER visit or even taking the day off of work in order to get in to your doctor, but does need treatment, are well-treated at an urgent care clinic.

    1. Urgent care does not replace your regular doctor.
      Urgent care is meant as a tool to support the medical plan that your doctor provides, not to replace it. Much of developing an effective medical treatment plan requires an ongoing relationship with a medical professional. Your doctor is in the best position to learn your medical history and to work with you on an ongoing basis to develop the best long term medial treatment for your needs. In fact, if you go to an urgent care with a medical need that involves ongoing care, you’ll likely get treatment to address the short term symptoms with instructions to follow-up with your regular practitioner for long term treatment.
    1. But Urgent Care also provides treatment that your doctor doesn’t.

      What we are not saying is that an urgent care clinic is the equivalent of your doctors, without providing long term care, but with walk-in availability on nights and weekends. Urgent care clinics are equipped to handle medical needs that your regular doctor isn’t able to provide. This includes imaging and labs to get a diagnosis on-site, rather than having to take a referral to a specialist or another lab, as you would with your regular doctor. Also, if you need fracture care, your regular doctor might not be able to help but most urgent care clinics can (we suggest you call ahead and make sure that the clinic you visit can accommodate you if this is what you need). If you need an IV, your doctor won’t be able to help, but urgent care can.

      Urgent care is a great option for avoiding the emergency room when your medical need requires more than your doctor can provide.

  1. Urgent Care also doesn’t replace ER.
    While we talked a lot about avoiding to emergency room, we want to emphasize, that in the case of a life-threatening emergency, the emergency room is the only place you want to go to. In a life-threatening emergency, every minute that it takes to provide the care that is needed impact the outcome of your situation; you don’t want to waste any time going to an urgent care. Emergency rooms are specifically designed to treat these situations. Always seek care at an emergency room if you are experiencing:

    • Extreme shortness of breath.
    • Symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain.
    • Symptoms of a stroke, such as inability to move or talk, confusion, loss of consciousness.
    • Traumatic injuries to the head or neck.
    • Uncontrollable bleeding.
    • Compound fractures (in which the bone protrudes from the skin).

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