When it is Best to go to an Urgent Care

Urgent cares see many patients

Why choose urgent care over waiting for a doctor?s appointment or just going to the emergency room? There are many reasons starting with the relative wait time.

Emergency rooms are overrun by people waiting for medical attention that are not facing a real medical emergency. That causes an extreme back-up resulting in a wait time that can sometimes be hours long. According to a recent study, nearly 60% of urgent care centers have a wait time of 15 minutes or less.

This doesn?t mean 15 minutes to be checked in or have the nurse come take your temperature. That means 15 minutes to see a doctor or nurse practitioner, who can hear your concerns and examine you. Of the remaining people, who waited longer that 15 minutes, over 80% of them waited less than an hour. As anyone who as waiting in an emergency room can tell you, less than an hour is practically a miracle.

Most urgent care centers are open seven days a week, and while hours vary, they are typically available during evenings and weekends when it is difficult to get into a doctor. The business of an urgent care will depend entirely on the density of the population surrounding the facility. One in five urgent care centers will see over 450 patients each week consistently.

70% of all urgent care facilities are capable of offering intravenous fluids when needed, which can save many people a trip to the emergency room. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, nearly half of all adult ER patients were not sick or injured enough to warrant being submitted to the hospital. In many of those cases, the illness or injury could have been treated through an urgent care facility saving both time and money.

The majority of urgent care facilities can also treat fractures, which is another service that people typically go to the emergency room for. Many of the common tests and prescriptions can be done and filled through urgent care centers.

In addition to providing treatment for sudden illnesses or injuries, urgent care centers are also a great outlet for after hour care, which can allow people, who work to get medical attention without having to take off of work. This also saves people from having to wait weeks to get into see their doctor.

For working parents, getting your child in to see a doctor can be a real struggle and hardship depending on work hours and availability of time off. While your child is always a top priority, maintaining a job is part of that priority, so you don’t want to put your job at risk having to go to a primary care physician only when it is convenient for them. Urgent care facilities allow you to see a doctor when it is convenient for you without costing a drastic amount.

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