If you need medical attention, there are a number of places you can go. First of all, you should try to go to your normal doctor’s office. For a persistent problem or a non-emergent one, getting medical attention here is ideal, as you already have a developed relationship with your doctor and will be able to work with him or her in a hands on way. But there are cases in which getting prompt medical attention from your primary care doctor or family doctor might not be an option.
For one thing, it might be difficult to get an appointment on a short notice. Depending on the doctor in question, bookings might need to take place much earlier. In addition to this concern, many doctors will only be open during business hours. If you need medical attention very early or very late, you might not be able to get it from your usual doctor. And many a doctor’s office will also close on the weekend, making it even more difficult to get medical attention if you need it during this time.
If you are facing a serious issue or one that is even potentially life-threatening, you might also consider going to your local emergency room. An emergency room can treat a whole host of issues, from the more minor the the ones that need immediate medical attention. Emergency room doctors are skilled, but there are still issues you can run into here. For one thing, you might have a long time to wait if you need medical attention for a condition that is less than immediately urgent. In fact, the average emergency room is likely to have a waiting period of at least an hour, if not even longer than that. And emergency room visits do not come cheap. Even for those with good insurance, and emergency room visit is likely to cost hundreds, if not even thousands.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to both of these options and it lies in urgent care centers. Urgent care locations are now plentiful here in the United States, with well over 7,000 having been established by the time that we reached the year of 2016. In the number of years that have transpired since, urgent care clinics have only become more commonplace. And these walk in clinics provide a great option for those who are looking to get prompt and effective medical attention, already serving up to three million people weekly and staffed by more than 20,000 doctors – and even more other such medical professionals.
But what can really be treated in a walk in urgent care center? A whole host of things, as it turns out. For instance, common infections that are solved with a course of antibiotics are frequently seen in your typical walk-in clinic. The urinary tract infection, of which more than eight million cases are diagnosed per year, provides just one great example. Ear infections, prevalent among very young children, are also likely to be diagnosed.
Urgent care centers even provide a good level of preventative care, something that can mitigate a person’s need for prompt medical attention down the line. Flu shots are particularly common at any given walk-in medical clinic, as the flu itself is prominent, infecting up to 20% of the entire American population during any given flu season. Therefore, protecting yourself against the flu is a must, even if the flu shot is not 100%. For many people, however, getting the flu shot can still prevent the flu – or lessen its overall severity if it is still contracted.
In addition to this, injuries can also be handled comprehensively in the typical walk-in medical care clinic. Medical attention, for instance, is commonly required for ankle sprains. Ankle sprains are themselves hugely prevalent, with up to 25,000 of them occurring over the course of just one day – and that’s just here in the United States alone, let alone anywhere else in the country. Fortunately, this type of injury is one that can be treated with ease at just about any given urgent care location, especially when you consider that 80% of urgent care locations can provide fracture care and diagnosis.