When to Go to an Urgent Care Clinic

Emergency room number

Over the course of the last few years, the American healthcare industry has seen a dramatic increase in the number of private medical walk in clinics, like urgent care centers and retail clinics. Since then, everyone from top doctors and surgeons to health columnists have offered advice on which medical facility to seek out in a given situation. However, it can often be difficult to apply this advice when you’re dealing with an actual illness or injury. Fortunately, this choice can be easier than it might seem. Read on to find out which medical center you should seek in a given situation.

Doctors’ Offices
Every American should have a doctor or primary care physician, so if you are currently lacking someone to fill this role, start investigating options in your area today. Primary care physicians are meant to provide regular care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Similarly, recurring problems should also be treated by a doctor, who will have access to your medical history and other resources, but will charge a relatively inexpensive co-pay. Unfortunately, because physicians require appointments and typically operate only during normal business hours, they will likely take too much time in other situations.

Retail Clinics
These walk in clinics are operated out of grocery stores, drug stores and other businesses. They are usually staffed by nurses, and provide a few simple services, such as vaccinations and basic diagnoses. However, because they offer so few treatments and are also only open when the parent store is operating, it may be preferable to seek out 24 hour urgent care in most situations.

Urgent Care Centers
Urgent care clinics have a number of benefits: for example, they encourage walk-ins, have short waiting times, offer a wide variety of medical services, and charge low co-pays to boot. Moreover, many of these clinics offer after-hours or 24 hour urgent care services, making them a convenient resource day or night. However, urgent care centers are designed to treat non-life-threatening issues, ranging from upper respiratory infections to minor cuts and wounds. If you need 24 hour urgent care, this type of clinic is your best option.

Emergency Rooms
Emergency room care should be strictly reserved for serious illnesses and injuries to prevent hospital overcrowding. However, if you have a broken leg, a severe flesh wound, serious chest pain, a fever above 103 degrees, or another worrying symptom, head to an emergency room immediately to keep your condition from worsening. Learn more at this link.

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