Urgent care facilities are excellent places to go to when you have an injury or illness that doesn’t seem to be “ER” severe or if you just do not have the time to make it out to an emergency room. With approximately 7,164 urgent care locations in the United States, you can most certainly find one in your local area if need be.
Despite the fact that every year, there are approximately 160 million urgent care center visits in the United States, many people do not seem to understand the benefits of an urgent care center or the difference between an urgent care center and an emergency room visit. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Why Urgent Care Centers are Incredibly Valuable Resources:
- The biggest difference between an urgent care center and an emergency room lies in the cost of the visits. Research shows that while an emergency room visit generally costs around $1,500, a visit to an urgent care center usually costs under $150. That is a huge difference, especially for those on a tight budget.
- As per American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine regulations, urgent care centers in the United States have to be open for 7 business days every single week. Many clinics also offer after hours urgent care for late night cases. This can come in handy if an accident or injury takes place at an unusual time, or if you need to make a visit based on your work schedule.
- Urgent care centers offer a wide array of medical services that many emergency rooms also offer. In fact, research shows that 27% of all emergency room visits that take place in the United States could actually just as easily take place at any urgent care locations. For example, a lot of urgent care facilities offer X-ray services in order to diagnose fractures, sprains, or other bone related issues.
- Have a painful cold that just won’t go away? Skip the hospital and head to your local urgent care center. Urgent care centers have trained staff members to diagnose illnesses as well as treating injuries. In fact in 2012, the most common diagnosis in the United States that was given at urgent care centers was an upper respiratory infection.
- Urgent care locations can also be valuable resources for employers. Research shows that roughly 69.3% of urgent care centers in the United States offer services for drug testing potential or current employees.
Have you had any positive experiences with urgent care centers? Let us know in the comments below!