If you are in need of medical treatment but are unsure what warrants a hospital visit, consider an urgent care center. Hospitals can be quite crowded and often take a long time to provide care for anyone not in immediate need of medical help. In fact, Milliman conducted a private study of Emergency Room visits and found that 44-65% could’ve been attended to at an urgent care clinic instead. That means those patients could have been treated faster and paid less for their care.
While local hospitals are essential to community health care, the fact that many people use them for non-life-threatening situations results in crowded waiting rooms and slower treatment for everybody. Especially for busy parents with sick kids, family urgent care can be a welcome alternative.
Let’s take a look at what family urgent care centers can do for you.
What Can Be Treated at an Urgent Care Center?
- Fevers that do not present with a rash are easily treated by these clinics.
- Vomiting, unless it is the result of accidental overdose or ingestion of a known toxic chemical, is manageable at an urgent care facility.
- Minor lacerations, sprained wrists, or other bodily harm that presents no immediate danger to your life.
- Painful urination, whether caused by kidney stones or an STI, is a symptom easily attended to at an urgent care near you.
These are just a few of the many things that you can skip the local hospital for in favor of urgent care. If your primary care physician or pediatrician’s office is closed but you need treatment, your best bet is to go to a family urgent care facility.
Use this rule of thumb: if you would go to your doctor’s office for the medical condition you have now, go to urgent care. If you are experiencing a medical condition that you think requires the service only a local hospital can provide, then don’t hesitate. If you are ever in doubt, choose a hospital.
However, it is best to be mindful of others when going to the hospital. Life and death situations happen every day, and when hospitals are clogged with patients that should instead be at an urgent care facility, it makes the hospital staff even more strained. Try, whenever your life isn’t in danger, to use urgent care facilities for after-hours treatment and care.