A Few Reasons Why to Choose Urgent Care Over the ER

Orthopedic doctor

Though no one wants to go to the hospital, chances are you will have to go at some point in your life. Accidents happen; people get sick. Even video gamers aren’t safe. A 29 year-old man from California had to get surgery on his thumb after playing Candy Crush on his phone for eight straight weeks! He played so much that he actually ruptured his thumb tendon, and perhaps more amazingly he didn’t even notice it. Candy Crush-related injuries may be rare but that doesn’t mean it won’t get you.

No matter what causes an injury or illness, however, people in need of medical care may want to go to a walk in medical clinic as opposed to an emergency room (unless the issue is life-threatening). Walk in health clinics provide excellent medical care with costs and wait times that rival those of ERs. Urgent care clinics provide nearly all the same services found in an ER. More than 95% of the 9,000 urgent care centers in the United States have at least one physician on staff, and about 70% of walk in medical clinics offer intravenous (IV) fluids to patients who need it. Many clinics come equipped with sophisticated medical equipment typically found in ERs such as X-ray machines and pulse monitors, among others.

If the quality of the care doesn’t sell you, consider that walk in medical clinics are well-known to have shorter waiting times than ERs. Roughly 69% of urgent care units have wait times less than 20 minutes; 28% of wait times are 21-40 minutes; and the remaining 3% have an average wait time of 40 minutes or more. For injuries and illnesses that need attention but are non-life threatening, going to an urgent care center is more convenient for the patients and doctors alike.

What do you think about urgent care? Feel free to leave a comment or question below for more information.

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