Nowadays, urgent care clinics are available in many cities in the United States. Still, some people hesitate to visit a clinic because they are accustomed to visiting a local emergency room. If you have gone to the emergency room in the past whenever your primary physician's office was closed, you may be interested in learning more about urgent care. Here is a bit of information about this medical care option to help you know what to expect.
When should you visit an urgent care clinic?
Patients normally visit urgent care clinics when they are unable to visit their regular physician's office. The inaccessibility to their usual doctor's office could be due to the timing of the visit being outside of regular hours or the physician being away from the office for an extended time.
Is urgent care less expensive than a visit to an emergency room?
Urgent care is often much more affordable than a visit to the emergency room. However, the quality of care is comparable, and an appointment is generally not needed to receive treatment.
When should you receive emergency medical care instead of urgent care?
If your injuries threaten your life or could result in the removal of one of your limbs, you should go to the emergency room. Amputations or other treatments that could not be performed in a doctor's office are often unsuitable for an urgent care clinic.Still, many people visit the emergency room for conditions that are not life-threatening and could easily be treated in an urgent care setting, such as sprains, high fevers, vomiting and broken bones. If your condition requires treatment within 24 hours but is not life-threatening, it is likely treatable at an urgent care facility.
Outside of cost, are there other advantages to visiting an urgent care clinic instead of an emergency room?
If the emergency room of a local hospital is constantly filled with patients, you will likely have a long wait to receive treatment. People who have life-threatening conditions are given precedence. With a visit to an urgent care facility, you may be more likely to be seen by a physician sooner.
Can you visit an urgent care clinic if you do not have medical insurance?
Many urgent care clinics do see uninsured patients. However, they may require upfront payment for the services rendered.
For more information about urgent care, contact an urgent care clinic in your local area.