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What Types of Illnesses Do Urgent Care Centers Treat?

How Do I Know If I Should Visit Urgent Care, The Emergency Room, or My Family Doctor?

While ERs are important for true emergencies and family doctors are crucial to your overall wellness, urgent care centers also play an important role in modern healthcare. Since urgent care centers are a relatively new phenomenon, many people wonder at their purpose and what types of conditions/injuries they are able to treat.

When experiencing symptoms of an illness or nursing an injury, what is your first thought? 

Do you assume you need to go straight to the ER or call to make an appointment with your family physician? While ERs are important for true emergencies and family doctors are crucial to your overall wellness, urgent care centers also play an important role in modern healthcare. Since urgent care centers are a relatively new phenomenon, many people wonder at their purpose and what types of conditions/injuries they are able to treat. Simply put, urgent care centers are not meant to replace traditional medical facilities like the emergency room and family doctor; however, they offer extended hours and convenience so you can get the care you need when you need it.

While urgent care facilities aren't there to manage chronic conditions or treat life threatening illnesses/injuries, they are able to treat a wide range of seasonal illnesses, non-life-threatening injuries (sprains, broken bones, cuts, etc.), as well as providing vaccinations and physicals. Urgent care centers stand in the gap, so you can be seen when you need care, even if you fall ill after hours or the weekend. Never again will you spend your weekend stuck waiting at the bottom of the triage list, at your local ER with an illness or injury that is not considered an emergency. Urgent care centers offer quality care, at an affordable price, so you can get on the road to recovery more quickly! Read on to learn more about the important role urgent care centers play in comprehensive healthcare!

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What Is an Urgent Care Center and What Types of Illnesses and Injuries Do They Treat?

Urgent care centers are an essential part of the modern healthcare system as they provide accessible medical services for individuals and families who need immediate, non-emergency care. These centers offer a variety of services, ranging from diagnosis and treatment of illnesses to providing vaccinations and physicals. While urgent care centers are not equipped to treat life threatening conditions, they can provide relief for many common ailments such as colds, flu, earaches, sore throats, urinary tract infections, rashes, and other skin ailments. They can also treat non-life-threatening injuries such as strains and sprains, as well as mild to moderate cuts that require stitches. Urgent care centers are one of the easiest and most popular options for those in need of vaccinations or physicals for school or work. Whether you need care for an injury or an illness that strikes without warning, urgent care centers are there to help you receive care and/or referrals, so you can get on the mend more quickly.

How Do I Know If I Should Visit Urgent Care, The Emergency Room, or My Family Doctor?

It can be confusing to decide whether to visit an urgent care center, the doctor, or the ER when you're feeling unwell. Generally speaking, if your symptoms are severe and life-threatening, you should go straight to the ER or call 911. However, if you’re simply feeling unwell with a seasonal illness, UTI, or sprained ankle, an urgent care center is typically the fastest and easiest way to be seen. This is especially true if you become ill or injured outside of normal business hours, as your family doctor will most likely be closed, forcing you to wait until the next business day to be seen, all the while suffering. Thus, in these situations, urgent care centers allow you to receive immediate treatment, so you can get the medications or medical interventions you need that day, to begin the journey to recovery. While urgent care is a great option for the sudden onset of illness, it is not intended to replace the role of your family doctor, especially in the management of chronic conditions. Your family doctor is aware of your life long medical history and is far better equipped to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. While all these types of medical care are important in keeping you healthy, ultimately, you should consider the severity of your condition when deciding where to seek medical care for a specific condition.

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Why Should I Consider Utilizing an Urgent Care Center?

There are many great reasons to consider visiting an urgent care center the next time you become ill or injured. Consider them below:

  1. Convenience - Urgent care centers are a great option when your family doctor is unavailable or closed after normal business hours. These centers stand in the gap as they are usually open after hours and on weekends, so you can be seen right away (without having to wait for the next business day).
  2. Faster Service - The average wait time at an urgent care center is much shorter than at an ER. That way you don't have to choose between long wait times when you're not feeling well or waiting until Monday to be seen if you fall ill over the weekend.
  3. Affordability - Urgent care centers are typically less expensive than ER visits and most centers accept medical insurance. Thus, if you find yourself in need of care outside of normal business hours and wish to avoid paying high deductibles/out of pocket expenses to be seen at the ER, urgent care centers are a great alternative option.
  4. Wide Range of Services - Urgent care centers offer a variety of services, from the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses to providing vaccinations and physicals. No matter what you need, it is likely urgent care may be able to help.
  5. Referral Services - If it is determined that a patient's condition would best be managed by a specialist, urgent care centers can provide referrals to the appropriate specialist. This helps ensure the patient receives the most effective treatment for their individual health needs.

In conclusion, urgent care centers are an essential part of the modern healthcare system as they provide accessible medical services for individuals and families who need immediate, non-life-threatening care. Urgent care centers are equipped to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, from minor cuts and colds to more serious conditions like broken bones and lacerations. The next time you become ill or injured, consider utilizing one of these convenient centers for fast, affordable treatment without the need for an appointment, so you can get back to peak health faster!

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