Do you find yourself constantly heading to the bathroom during flu season? Are your constantly coughing and sneezing during the change in seasons? Are you accident prone and always healing up from bumps and bruises?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes and you’re looking for treatment, your first inclination might be to rush out to the emergency room or visit your primary doctor. But let’s say your primary doctor is booked solid for two weeks and you need immediate attention, not a long wait in the emergency room. What the heck do you do then?
The answer is simple: visit an urgent care clinic. What is an urgent care clinic, you ask. It’s simple: it’s a type of walk-in clinic that will get you in to see a doctor faster and can treat many types of non life-threating aliments. More than three million people visit urgent care facilities around the United States each week for a variety of treatments.
Now you might be thinking, an urgent care won’t treat my illness or help heal my injury. Well, think again. The list of symptoms that an urgent care facility can treat continues to grow. As it stands, the average urgent care facility can treat people for ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases, muscle strain, dizziness, sprains, common sports injuries and many other things.
Some of them might vary in the services they offer, but when it comes to urgent care facilities what all of them offer is a quicker and more cost-effective way to treat a number of common, everyday medical ailments.
Still not convinced? Consider these statistics:
- Dizziness is the second most common complaint heard in doctor’s offices and it occurs in 70% of the American population.
- Somewhere between 5-20% of Americans suffer from the flu every year.
- More than 80% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy and it can be found everywhere in the United States except Alaska and Hawaii.
- Americans suffer from about a billion colds annually.
- 65% of people older than 60 experience dizziness or loss of balance, sometimes daily.
- At least 40% of those suffering from chronic low-back pain don’t see a doctor or physical therapist.
- Approximately 25,000 Americans suffer every day from an ankle sprain.
- Up to 69% of Americans say low back pain affects them on a daily basis.
Visiting an urgent care can help treat all of these symptoms and a lot more. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get in a lot faster to see a doctor. More than half of urgent care facilities have a wait time of less than 15 minutes and most of them have a physician on site at all times to treat patients. Additionally, urgent care centers stay open longer. Most are open until at least 7 p.m. on weekdays and some are even open until 9 p.m. or later. Depending on where you live, you may find urgent care clinics that open prior to 9 a.m. and are even open on weekends.
So what else can an urgent care do for you?
- Seven in ten urgent care centers can provide IV fluids when needed.
- About 40% of urgent care centers use electronic prescription ordering systems and many of them use computerized systems to collect patient data, clinical notes and billing information.
- A physician or a group of top doctors owns about 50% of urgent care centers, which gives that person or group of people a vested interested in having the facility run to the best of its ability.
If you’ve got a life-threatening issue, please do what’s best for health and visit the emergency room. The last thing you want to do is roll the dice on your health just to save money or time. Emergency room doctors play an important role in medical care and if you’re suffering from a severe injury or something like food poisoning (something near 50 million Americans experience each year), they’re the ones to see.
But for non life-threatening injuries and common, easily-treatment symptoms and conditions, an urgent care clinic can save you time and money while offering you treatment for a wide variety of things.