American Family Care: Urgent Care & Walk-In Clinic
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What Is Urgent Care?

It was not that long ago that hospitals were primarily neighborhood facilities that provided care to surrounding communities. They were easily accessible and had a staff of resident physicians who were also community members. Assuming one had fallen and sustained wounds or torn ligaments, one could visit the emergency room and expect quick and inexpensive treatment. Unfortunately, things have taken a different turn lately. Hospital emergency rooms are pretty crowded these days; this is partly because these facilities are sometimes understaffed and overwhelmed with the volume of severe cases requiring prompt response. Consequently, if you walk into an emergency room today with a not-so-urgent health problem like a sore throat or a minor illness, you’ll probably have to wait a while for a doctor to treat you.
In these cases, urgent care centers such as pediatric urgent care can come in handy. They fill the gap between standard hospital emergency rooms and physician’s offices by providing outpatient care, extended hours, and rapid treatment for non-life-threatening crises. Even better, emergency rooms allow people to see a doctor without making an appointment, similar to ER. Knowing that circumstances requiring medical treatment often do not occur during working hours, they typically operate throughout the year, including holidays.

When Should You Go To An Urgent Care Facility?

If you’re seeking medical attention for sudden illness or injury, you should go to an urgent care clinic. Acute illnesses are conditions that need medical attention but aren’t severe enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room, assuming your primary care physician isn’t there. Urgent care personnel typically include physicians, pharmacists, nurses, medical assistants, radiology technicians, and receptionists. Their staff can care for injuries, administer IV fluids, and perform X-ray and laboratory tests on site. These facilities also offer additional treatments, such as school and sports physicals, travel vaccinations, occupational therapy, etc. Here are some things you should know before you go to an urgent care clinic;

1. Book Your Appointment Online If Possible

Most urgent care facilities are walk-ins. You don’t have to make an appointment before visiting these facilities. As a result, your waiting time will depend on the number of people ahead of you in line. You may have to wait up to 30 minutes or longer when visiting an urgent care facility. However, you should note that some urgent care practices do not accept appointments. It can not hurt to contact them in advance to see if you can get a specific appointment to shorten the wait. Centers that do not accept appointments may offer online registration. Check their website to see if they have an online registration service. If so, provide initial information so they can prepare for your visit.
This way, you can secure a place in line and get to see a doctor much faster. Think of it as getting on the waiting list at a coffee store. There is no set time frame for an appointment, but the wait can begin before you arrive at the facility. This way, you spend less time waiting in the lobby.

2. Choose An Ideal Care Center For Your Needs

With the right health insurance, it’s crucial to choose a facility that accepts your insurer and is in-network to lower your costs. Ensure the facility you choose also specializes in the type of care you need. It may prove beneficial if the urgent care facility works well with your doctor’s office. For example, some facilities specialize in pediatrics, making them the ideal clinic if your children need treatment. Others specialize in treating orthopedic problems, and others specialize in women’s health. It is essential to know where the nearest emergency clinic is located. Make an effort to find out about all the available solutions and the opening hours.

3. Find Out What You Need To Carry

Unlike a typical doctor’s office, an urgent care clinic does not have a comprehensive database of the patient’s medical history. To expedite treatment and receive the best service possible, you should bring all necessary medical records to the treatment facility. These include your current health insurance information and a list of all prescription medications you are currently taking. A list of your primary medical diagnoses and immunizations may also be beneficial. If your children have a primary care physician or pediatrician, have their name and contact information. Also, if you’re accompanying a minor child who’s not yours, have the parent’s permission. A picture of yourself with your ID would also be helpful. A clinic can only verify your identity if you present it. Most importantly, you’ll be responsible for any co-payments or fees incurred during your visit. So prepare in advance.

4. Determine The Ideal Time To Visit

Urgent care centers like hospitals operate during regular business hours. Keep in mind that hospitals may be busier at certain times than others, such as evenings, holidays, and weekends, when many doctors’ offices are not staffed. It can take a little while to receive a doctor, especially if you have several people in front of you. For this reason, you should consider visiting an urgent care clinic near you if you need quick treatment. They will tell you the estimated waiting time before you leave your home. Unlike crowded hospitals, you will be able to see a doctor much faster and know when to arrive.

5. Know That You May Not See A Doctor

Before visiting an urgent care center, know that the person treating you may not be a doctor. While most urgent care clinics have doctors on staff, you’ll often be served by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They can diagnose and treat a variety of health problems. Regardless of the healthcare professional you see, they will most likely offer therapy and recommend that you see a primary care physician for further treatment. You should note that urgent care facilities do not handle life-threatening situations. The services that urgent care facilities can provide are limited. These clinics are appropriate for people who do not need life-threatening treatment. You can visit these facilities without making an appointment; however, making an appointment in advance can reduce your wait time.
Have you ever thought about running a business in the healthcare industry? Given the large market to serve, urgent care clinics are a potential worth exploring. Please work with us, American Family Care Franchisor, to start your own business based on a proven business model. Want to learn more? Visit to learn more about becoming a franchisee with us.

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