Four Things You Should Know About Urgent Care Clinics

Denver urgent care

Have you ever considered seeking medical care at urgent care facilities? If not, at the very least, we’re sure it’s something you’re familiar with. There are over 9,000 urgent care facilities across the United States; there’s a great likelihood of there being urgent care facilities near you. But what exactly is an urgent care, and what is it good for?

We’re glad you asked. You’ll be an urgent care expert after reading our list of quick facts about urgent care facilities:

Four Things You Should Know About Walk in Health Clinics

  1. Urgent care providers do not replace your regular family care providers.

    When your medical need is related to your ongoing treatment and care, this is something that your regular medical doctor is best suited to address. When you go to a medical walk in clinic, you’ll be seen by the first available medical provider. This might or might not be someone you’ve seen before. On the other hand, your family health care physician will have a relationship with you, will understand your medical history, and will be able to work with you to create a long term treatment plan for your medical need.

    For example. Over-active or under-active thyroids is a very common medical ailments that adults face. Your doctor will do lab work and then give you a prescription according to the results. Six weeks later, they’ll do lab work again to gauge the effectiveness of the medication, and then tweak it as needed. After that, you’ll get semi-annual lab work to check your thyroid production and change the medication if needed. If you go to an urgent care doctor for a thyroid issue, they will likely treat any urgent symptoms you’re experiencing, but give you directions to see your doctor for long term treatment.

  2. But urgent care does provide many services you’d see a doctor, and some that your doctor doesn’t offer.

    Although they are called “urgent” cares, it does not mean that they only treat urgent medical needs. Many non-urgent reasons that you’d see your regular doctor can be treated at urgent care. If you have the signs of pink eye and your doctor can’t see you for a few days, take a trip to your nearest urgent care. If you have a sinus infection and need a round of antibiotics, urgent care can fix you up. If you just need a bug bite checked out, urgent care can do the trick.

    On top of that, urgent care provides a lot of services that your regular doctor doesn’t offer. If you have a potential broken bone (but not a “compound fracture” that has broken through the skin), your doctor won’t be able to treat you, but urgent care can. If you need IV fluids, your doctor most likely does not offer it, but urgent care most likely does. Before going to the emergency room for a non-emergency, contact your nearby urgent care and ask if they can treat you.

  3. Urgent care does not replace emergency room…

    While we’re on the subject of the emergency room, we should add that urgent care and emergency room are not the same thing. The emergency room has one job, and does that job well: to treat emergencies. If you’re struggling to breath, this is an emergency that needs to be treated at ER. If you have chest pains that could indicate a heart attack, get yourself to the ER. If you’ve sustained a head or neck injury, do not waste and critical minutes at an urgent care, get straight to the emergency room.
  4. But going to urgent care instead of the ER can save lives.

    There are a lot of reasons to choose urgent care over ER. You might not want to go the emergency room because you’ll likely have to wait for several hours to get care. You might want to avoid it because you know the hospital surcharges will leave you with a multi-figure bill. The most important reason is that if the emergency room is treating your non-emergency medical needs, their resources are tied up and are not available to save lives, if the medical need arises. By taking your medical need to urgent care, you could save a life.

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