Waiting for care in an emergency room can be positively excruciating. And that is not even considering the pain of your injury or illness. Emergency rooms tend to be overcrowded, frantic places that treat patients based on the level of severity for their symptoms. But what if you could avoid all that fuss and get quality medical care more quickly?
Welcome to the world of urgent medical care. Urgent care facilities are typically open 24 hours and are essentially a walk in doctors office. If you have non-life threatening symptoms, urgent medical care is likely your best choice. Here are five facts to keep in mind the next time you get sick.
1. When should I go to urgent care?
The most often treated symptoms at urgent medical care centers include sprains, strains and fractures, upper respiratory illness, food poisoning and cuts and bruises. Immediate care can also help with rashes, sore throats and dehydration. Essentially, if your life is not in danger but you still need medical attention, urgent care is the place for you.
2. What about the flu?
Typically, between 5 and 20 percent of Americans get sick with flu symptoms every year. While your primary care physician would know your situation best, if you need help immediately in dealing with the flu, urgent medical care can be extremely valuable. Urgent care for kids with the flu and other illnesses is also a great idea because they get helped more quickly.
3. How reliable is the service?
Every week in the United States, approximately three million patients visit urgent medical care centers for treatment. These numbers are growing steadily due to the great reputation urgent care is gaining as an effective alternative to ER care. Plus, some urgent care centers now even have X-ray machines as well as prescription-pickup services, making it a true one-stop shop.
4. Is it expensive?
On the contrary, you can expect to save money through choosing urgent medical care over the ER. Urgent care costs, on average, about $150 or less, compared to what can amount to a whopping $1,500 bill for emergency room services. Granted, the ER can save your life, but if you are not in danger of dying, why pay more?
5. What about my regular doctor?
Patients are choosing urgent medical care in droves because they cannot reach their primary care physicians. The numbers back this up, too. One of the leading causes for the surge in popularity of urgent care is that primary care doctors are becoming harder to schedule appointments with due to an increased caseload. Oppositely, urgent care docs are more free to spend time catering to your needs.
Now you know all you need to about urgent medical care. The next time that cough just will not go away, the next time your ankle hurts for longer than a few weeks, remember these tips. They could make all the difference in the world. Helpful links.