Many people are becoming more aware of the benefits of urgent care facilities. These family health clinics can provide similar services to what you'd find in a hospital's emergency room and services you'd find in your regular family care physicians' offices.
It's not uncommon, however, for people to get a few facts wrong when it comes to urgent care -- so let's set the record straight! Here are some of the most common misconceptions about immediate care family health clinics:
Myth 1: Urgent care clinics are like small emergency rooms.
While these clinics do provide emergency medical care, they aren't always capable of handling the same conditions as a full hospital emergency department. These walk in health clinics are better for non-life threatening conditions, such as minor broken bones or an ear infection.
Myth 2: These clinics aren't equipped with the same staff as a family medical practice.
Every urgent care clinic will have doctors, nurses, and/or medical specialists who have the same amount of training that any other medical clinic or family practice will have! In fact, around half of all family health clinics and owned and operated by family physicians, and there are an estimated 20,000 physicians practicing urgent care medicine today.
Myth 3: You can't make appointments at urgent care centers.
It's not necessary to make an appointment when you visit an emergency walk in clinic, but there's definitely no harm in doing so! For routine appointments, vaccinations, or lab work, the clinic actually might prefer if you schedule a date and time in advance.
Myth 4: Urgent care facilities don't provide specialized services.
This really depends on the clinic you're visiting, but there are plenty of independent health clinics that provide specialized care. Most commonly, this includes women's health care and/or pediatric care.
Myth 5: Urgent care clinics are just a trend; they won't last for long.
Actually, these facilities are probably going to be around for a while! As more hospitals have closed their doors due to financial problems, urgent care centers have provided a much-needed emergency care service across the country. According to the most recent data, there are at least 9,300 urgent care family health clinics in the U.S. alone!
Keep in mind that every family health clinic is going to be a little bit different in regards to the services offered and times of operation -- so make sure to find your closest clinic and get to know a little bit about it!