When You Should Visit an Urgent Care Center Instead of an Emergency Room

After hours urgent care

If you are dealing with a medical problem or emergency, should you go to the Emergency Room or an Urgent Care Center? Take a closer look at the services urgent care centers provide to help you make your decision.

Workplace Related Visits

If you are injured on the job, nearly 90% of urgent care centers treat injuries from the workplace such as back pain, sprains, and other musculoskeletal concerns. If you are required by an employer to get drug tested, odds are that your nearest urgent care center offers drug testing services as well. If you have to travel for work, many urgent care centers can give the necessary vaccinations for overseas travel, saving you the hassle of contacting the Department of Health.

After Hours Urgent Care

The Emergency Room is not the only place to go if you are injured during the night or on a weekend. The American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine requires all urgent care centers to be open 7 days a week. Urgent care hours typically run later than most doctor’s offices, and getting an appointment is much quicker. A walk in medical clinic should keep you updated on the status of your visit at 15-minute intervals so you are aware of how long the wait will be, depending on the number of patients needing treatment at the time. Going to an urgent care center will likely save you money compared to an emergency room visit too. Typical urgent care center visits cost under $150, while the average emergency visit costs 10 times more.

Bone-Related Injuries

When a bone may be broken, over 80% of urgent care centers can perform splinting procedures and treat bone fractures. Centers have an X-ray on site, so results can be interpreted while you wait. If need be, copies of an X-ray can be made so you can take one to your primary physician or a different specialist if need be.

Uncertain Problems
An estimated 27% of emergency room visits could be handled at an urgent care center instead. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you have a serious medical condition and are not sure which specialist to schedule an appointment with, an urgent care facility will be able to prescribe antibiotics or pain medication if needed while evaluating your present and future needs all in one visit. Afterwards, you may receive a referral to see a specialist who could help with your specific medical needs.

If you have questions or comments about what services urgent care centers offer, or advantages of urgent care centers, please share your thoughts. Learn more about this topic here.

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