We’ve all been there. It’s Friday afternoon and your child suddenly comes down with a high fever. They’re obviously in pain and miserable, but you know it isn’t an emergency. You’re options are limited:
You could choose to ride it out with a dose of Tylenol, which sometimes works. However, in some cases, the underlying infection will get worse and possibly become dangerous if it is not treated with antibiotics. Not to mention, having a child who is miserable when they don’t have to be really isn’t a solution. Your doctor could fix them right up but you can’t get them in for several days. Technically, your child could be treated at the emergency room, but that’s a bummer. You’ll have to risk exposing them to all of the other contagious illnesses that other patience are bringing into the waiting room. Not to mention, sitting in an uncomfortable waiting room for hours and hours with a miserable child is no bueno. Not to mention that hospital surcharges will make your simple trip the equivalent cost of an arm and a leg.
So what do you do? One solution is to take them to one of the many walk in medical clinics in the area. If you’ve never heard of urgent care walk in medical clinics, we’ve put together an overview of them:
Four Things You Didn’t Know About Urgent Care
- Urgent Care is Here to Stay
About a decade ago, walk in medical clinics were fairly unheard of, and now you see them on every corner. But that doesn’t mean urgent care is a fad that will disappear as quickly as it came. This year, the United States is graced with more than 9,000 urgent care facilities, which employ more than 20,000 physicians. Urgent care has filled a vital gap in our health infrastructure, and the faster they grow, the faster people realize how valuable they are.
- You Might Not See a Doctor
Many urgent care facilities are staffed by physicians, but in a majority of cases, when you go to urgent care, you’ll be seen by a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner goes through a different educational path than a physician to earn their title, but are fully equipped to provide the care that you need in urgent care. This is actually a benefit to you because being treated by a nurse practitioner is less expensive than the exact same care from a doctor.
- Urgent Care Does Not Replace Your Doctor
So if urgent care is so great, why go to your own doctor at all? It’s true, a walk in medical clinic can meet most of the medical needs that you have, but they were in conjunction with your family doctor, they don’t replace them. If the medical care you need is long term, such as adding or changing an ongoing prescription, you’d want to work with your doctor. Your doctor understands your medical history, will be able to follow up with you to ensure your care is successful, and is best equipped to develop a long term strategy for your care.
In fact, if you take an issue like this to urgent care, the medical provider who treats you will likely treat your immediate symptoms and give you instructions to follow-up with your doctor.
- But Urgent Care Can Provide More Treatment Than You Think
While we’re on the subject, there are a lot of medical services that you’d go to your doctor for that urgent care can provide without an appointment, and even on nights and weekends when your doctor is closed. If you need a quick prescription, go to urgent care. If you need a medical expert to take a look at a bug bite and ensure it is not serious, go to urgent care. If you need lab work, go to urgent care.
In fact, urgent care can even offer treatment that your doesn’t offer. Many urgent care clinics provide x-rays and fracture treatment on-site, so you don’t have to make the inconvenient trip to the ER. They also offer intravenous fluids, when you’re dehydrated or need an IV. These are things your doctor doesn’t provide that could save you a trip to the emergency room.
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