Most people only go to the doctor when something is wrong. And if it's not an emergency, you'll likely wait until your health insurance deductible resets at the beginning of the year.
But what do you do when you need medical care and your regular doctor isn't available? Or when there's a long wait time for an appointment? Urgent care centers offer an affordable and convenient alternative to the ER for minor illnesses and injuries. Here are all the things you need to know about urgent care centers.
What Is Urgent Care?
When people think of urgent care, they often picture long wait times and overworked staff. However, urgent care can actually be a great option for those seeking prompt medical attention.
An urgent care is a walk-in clinic that provides medical treatment for minor injuries and illnesses that are not life-threatening. For instance, if you have a cold or the flu, urgent care can help you feel better. But if you have a heart attack or stroke, you may need to go to the emergency room.
Even though urgent care centers allow walk-ins, you can still save time by making an appointment online or over the phone. When you arrive, an urgent care staff member can check you in and take your vital signs.
The urgent care staff might ask you for your name, date of birth, and insurance information. They may also ask about your medical history and the reason for your visit. If you have your medical documents with you, it can speed up the process. After that, an urgent care provider will see you and determine the best course of treatment.
What Services Do Urgent Care Centers Offer?
Urgent care centers usually have a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants on staff, which means they can provide a wide range of services.
Most urgent care centers can handle minor injuries and illnesses, like cuts and scrapes, ear infections, sinus infections, and urinary tract infections. They can also do X-rays and other diagnostic tests on site. In some cases, urgent care centers can provide more specialized services, like immunizations. If you're not sure whether an urgent care center can help you, call ahead or check the urgent care center's website for more information.
Urgent care centers are a convenient and affordable option for minor injuries and illnesses. They offer many of the same services as your regular doctor but with shorter wait times. Just remember that urgent care centers are not equipped to handle life-threatening emergencies. So if you have a serious injury or illness, go to the nearest emergency room.
Turn to an urgent care service such as 75th St Injury & Illness Center to find out more.