If you’ve noticed an advanced urgent care center in your neighborhood, you might have wondered if it’s the right place for you and your family to get medical care. Knowledge is power, so from getting a flu vaccination to getting stitches for that cut, here are five great times to visit an urgent care center.
- When you need to get a flu vaccination; or when it’s too late. The flu can be devastating and can result in a lot of lost time at work and school. It can also be dangerous for anyone, but especially the very young and the very old. Getting a flu vaccination is a smart way to do everything you can to protect yourself and your family, in addition to keeping up good hygiene practices during flu season. You can get the flu vaccination at your urgent care clinic, and this is, in fact, one of the easiest places to get it done. If you don’t get a flu vaccination and you get the flu, an urgent care location is the place to go for treatment. Seven in 10 can provide intravenous fluids, and you can get a prescription for what you might need to help you recover.
- When someone has a minor burn, cut, or rash. For serious or widespread burns, or for deep cuts, you’ll want to visit the ER. The same is true if a rash is sudden or very widespread and aggressive. But for mild and annoying rashes, minor cuts that just need cleaning and a few stitches, or for smaller burns, urgent care is the fastest, easiest way to get medical care.
- When someone needs X-rays for a non-emergency situation. Naturally if you’ve just been a car accident and a bone is sticking out, it’s time to head to the hospital. But for non-emergencies, X=rays will be faster and cheaper if you have them done at urgent care. The Urgent Care Association of American found that 57% of patients in these facilities were waiting 15 minutes or less to be seen.
- When you would otherwise go see your family doctor, but the office is closed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a study of adult visitors to the hospital ER. They found that almost half of ER patients were not sick enough to be visiting a hospital, but they had come because their family doctor’s office was closed. Urgent care services help to bridge that gap. The vast majority have after-hours care well into the evening, and two out of every five are open until 9 pm or even later. More than half of all urgent care centers open before 9 am, and many do open their doors on the weekends, too.
- When you need a more economical way to see a physician. An individual doctor or group of doctors personally owns about half the urgent care centers in America, and 65% have a doctor on-site at all times. All of them can and will refer you on to the right doctor immediately if they can’t treat you there.
These are just a few of the reasons to go try out urgent care next time you have a minor medical need or need a flu vaccination. Make sure that you know where your local urgent care facility is located so you can get there quickly and easily when you or your family member needs help.