Urgent care centers and clinics are popular in the field of healthcare and can be found in most areas of the country. They are likely important to you and members of your family, as well as your employer. They have advantages over walk-in emergency rooms or seeing your doctor. The following are a few things you should understand about them.
They are not a hospital emergency room
Urgent care clinics do not have the resources to treat a complete range of medical emergencies, but they can be useful in many situations. For example, if you hurt your arm or leg and are not sure if it's broken, an urgent care facility can x-ray your arm or leg to determine if it's just a sprain. If you have cuts, they can dress the wound and prescribe antibiotics. If the cut isn't too severe, they can often stitch the wound as long as the cut doesn't require more than a few stitches.
They can be an immediate substitute for your doctor
If it's something you would normally see your doctor about, but an appointment is a week or more away and you need to see a doctor today, urgent care is the answer. You have a cough or a bad cold, and you need an urgent prescription. They can help you. Blood work can be done and sent to a lab for testing. You can then follow up with your doctor at a later time.
They are a good choice for non-emergency care of employees
If an employee was hurt on the job but not seriously enough for a hospital emergency room, an urgent care clinic is a good alternative. Even when they don't seem injured, due to insurance reasons and potential lawsuits, you want to make sure that your employee was checked out by a doctor. An urgent care center will usually be faster and cheaper than a trip to a hospital emergency room.
You should choose urgent care in advance
Not every urgent care clinic will take all insurance plans. This may not always be the one closest to you. In addition, urgent cares have business hours, which makes them much different than an emergency room. After deciding on the closest facility to you that also takes your insurance, you should note their business hours. Although they are seldom open 24 hours a day, most of them are open seven days a week.
An urgent care facility is not an emergency room. However, they can address immediate medical needs, such as sprains and cuts. They can substitute for your doctor when you can't get an immediate appointment, and they can be convenient care for an employer's workers. Select an urgent care facility in advance so that you know they will take your insurance.