An urgent care center and walk-in clinic can provide many benefits to patients that need immediate, non-emergency ambulatory services. The specific services offered by an urgent care center or similar clinic allows patients an new branch of convenient, affordable, and accessible medical services.
As mentioned on our last AFC Urgent Care Denver blog, urgent care services offer a cost-effective and time-efficient alternative to traditional medical facilities. The majority of services include acute and non-ambulatory treatment to injuries, illnesses, and similar types of diseases. So patients that need high-quality care that isn't an immediate emergency can get the care they need.
However, patients may need to understand some of the specific services and features or a local urgent care clinic in order to determine their best medical solution. Did you know that an urgent care center can provide x-rays for patients? So instead of waiting to get an x-ray at an emergency room try visiting an urgent care center!
What should I know before I go to urgent care?
Urgent care is an alternative to many doctor's offices, clinics, emergency rooms, and hospitals for sudden and acute medical needs. This means that any injury or illness that isn't an immediate emergency can be treated at urgent care. This also means that you can access urgent care in a variety of ways.
This breakdown of urgent care utilization by Healthline does a great job informing patients on what to expect: online check-in, walk-in clinic access, provider diversity, and an focus on acute care. Patients that want to visit urgent should understand that some providers on-site include nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Some centers may not have a PCP to visit.
Additionally, the way to access urgent care is much easier than traditional medical facilities. Patients can usually come in for a walk-in visit, schedule an appointment online, or plan a future appointment. Per Healthline:
Many urgent care clinics are walk-in centers, meaning you don’t need an appointment to see a healthcare provider. Because you don’t need an appointment, your wait time can vary considerably depending on the number of people ahead of you. It could take 20 minutes to see a healthcare provider, or it could take an hour or longer.
Keep in mind that some urgent care centers do allow appointments. So it doesn’t hurt to call a center ahead of your arrival to see if you can reserve a specific time slot and shorten your wait time.
Even if a center doesn’t allow appointments, you might have the option of online check-in. Go to the center’s website and provide initial information so they can prepare for your arrival. This process reserves your spot in line, which helps you see a healthcare provider sooner.
Source - Healthline
What types of injuries, illnesses does urgent care treat?
An urgent care center can treat a variety of sudden injuries including bruises, sprains, and bone breaks. The wide variety of injuries treatable at urgent care can sometimes mislead patients; determining if your injury is an urgent care situation, or an emergency care situation, may take some extra insight.
The same goes for illnesses as well. How can a patient determine if any symptoms or illnesses are an urgent care matter or an emergency care matter? What types of symptoms indicate that urgent care is the best option for patients?
According to a primer on urgent care use by Solv Health, the types of services that patients should immediate go to an urgent care center for include:
The biggest service offered by urgent care facilities is the treatment of common, non life-threatening illnesses and injuries. In general, the things that are treated in urgent care facilities include:
- Allergic reactions and asthma
- Cuts, burns, bug bites and animal bites
- Falls, sprains, strains, and broken bones
- Colds and flus
- Pink eye
- Ear infections
- Sinus pressure and sinus infections (sinusitis)
- Bronchitis and strep throat
Source: Solv Health
Basically, if any injury is bleeding profusely and could lead to death then go to an ER. Any illness symptom that is causing a similar life-threatening situation should be treated at an emergency room. Anything lesser than that should get treatment at an urgent care center!
Can urgent care diagnose my injuries? What about preventive care?
Urgent care providers are skilled in acute medical treatment but can also provide preventive care and other diagnostic services that keep you healthy!
A few services that urgent care services provide that help patients stay healthy include x-rays, routine physicals (DOT and School and camp), blood tests, STD tests, UTI treatment, blood pressure screenings, and related medical tests!
Sometimes, a patient may want to get a second opinion on a new symptom or injury. Thankfully, an urgent care provider is able to diagnose all of these injuries with services that you'd normally wait in an ER for.
And if you're curious on where to find your next urgent care visit, make sure you visit our Leetsdale and Aurora urgent care center for any of the above-mentioned urgent care needs!