What’s an urgent care center, and why do people go to them?
What is Urgent Care?
Urgent care centers are a kind of medical care clinic that provides a convenient way to get medical attention quickly and see a doctor without having to visit an emergency room. Sometimes an urgent care center is attached to a hospital; at other times it is a stand alone facility.
What Can They Treat at Urgent Care?
An urgent care center can give flu shots, give stitches, treat colds and the flu, and provide care for wounds and even minor fractures. A study in 2012 revealed that the most common diagnosis at an urgent care center was some kind of upper respiratory condition, and the most common procedure was wound repair. These centers are a great way to get seen quickly for minor issues without taking up vital room in the emergency room: and we have a lot of “minor” health issues in America. Every year, we come down with 1 billion colds, and between 5% and 20% of us will get the flu. In the United States, 85% of people are allergic to poison ivy, which is found in every state but Hawaii and Alaska, and we see doctors for urinary tract infection 8.1 million times a year. Every single day, about 25,000 of us sprain an ankle. These are all problems and ailments that these sort of walk in clinics are particularly suited to treat.
Will I Be Able to See A “Real” Doctor?
Absolutely! Most urgent care centers, 85%, are open all week, and today there are 20,000 doctors working in these clinics nationwide. Three million patients visit urgent care centers every year, and the clinics are well-equipped to take care of a wide variety of injuries and illnesses, from the stomach virus to ear aches and mild asthma attacks. The physicians there can also quickly refer you to a hospital or a specialist if you come in with something they are unable to deal with.
The urgent care center is a great place to go for any kind of minor illness, injury, or condition. You can expect to get good treatment quickly, and at a good price. Make sure you know where the nearest walk in clinics are in your area in case you need one.