American Family Care: Urgent Care & Walk-In Clinic
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When to Go to an Urgent Care Clinic Instead of the ER

In a medical situation, most people’s first reaction is to rush to the nearest hospital. But often, this isn’t the right decision regarding healthcare. Thankfully, other options – such as urgent care clinics – provide excellent treatment while saving time and money.

An urgent care provider is a medical center that provides immediate, short-term care for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Here’s why and when you should go to an urgent care walk-in clinic over the hospital ER. 

Urgent Care Clinics Are Affordable


Urgent care centers are far more affordable than hospital emergency rooms for many reasons. Insurance companies typically cover urgent care visits at a more favorable rate. This is because the services in an urgent care center are less expensive than a hospital emergency room typically offers. If it is an urgent care center that is not part of a hospital, there will also be no facility fee.

More Accessible Hours


Urgent care centers like American Family Care are incredibly convenient and accessible for those facing urgent medical issues that require immediate attention. Compared to hospitals, they offer more flexible hours of operation – typically open later in the evening and on Sundays, too – making it easier for people to receive care conveniently at a time that fits their schedule. This additional flexibility has become increasingly important in recent years as many people work longer hours, often necessitating after-hours care and other accommodations. 

Wide Range of Services


Urgent care centers provide a much more comprehensive range of services. Urgent care facilities are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to hospital-based emergency rooms by offering various healthcare services. These centers provide medical services, including diagnosing and treating minor injuries and illnesses. In addition to providing medical help for acute conditions that do not require immediate hospitalization, many urgent care centers also offer preventive health exams such as wellness visits, immunizations, yearly check-ups, occupational medicine, and screenings for chronic conditions.

Shorter Wait Times at an Urgent Care Center


No one likes to wait, especially when they aren’t feeling well. Urgent care centers like American Family Care have shorter wait times than hospitals. As a result, urgent care centers can better prioritize the needs of their patients and ensure that those who need immediate medical attention receive it sooner. Urgent care centers also generally employ a more extensive staff of healthcare professionals like physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners who can provide quality treatment more promptly.

When to Go to Urgent Care


Urgent care centers are known for providing top-quality healthcare services to patients who are experiencing non-emergency ailments and injuries. 

You should go to an urgent care center if you have experienced any of the following:

  • A cold or the flu
  • Fever
  • Rashes or a skin infection
  • Pinkeye
  • Strep throat
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sprains or strains
  • Mild to moderate asthma attacks
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea 
  • Mild to moderate dehydration
  • Bleeding or cuts that need stitches

When to Go to the ER


You should make a trip to the ER if you have experienced injuries or ailments that are life-threatening or genuine emergencies. How do you know if it’s a true emergency? 

Here’s when you should go to the emergency room:

  • Broken bones with significant displacement or breaking through the skin
  • Severe burns
  • Deep cuts with uncontrolled bleeding
  • Intense and lasting stomach pain
  • Uncontrolled or difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness accompanied by a headache, sudden blurred vision, and confusion
  • If you have a child under the age of two who appears to be significantly ill or dehydrated
  • Suicidal thoughts

Visit a Leading Urgent Care Provider


American Family Care stands at the forefront as a premier provider of accessible and cost-effective urgent care solutions. Our commitment revolves around delivering superior healthcare within a compassionate atmosphere that upholds the rights of every patient, all while maintaining an economical approach and offering flexibility in both timing and locations to suit the patient’s convenience.

Are you in need of treatment for a minor injury or illness? Head to AFC today!

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3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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