If you need medical care fast, an urgent care facility may be your best option. You’ve heard that urgent care centers are an alternative to the emergency room, but there are several little-known advantages to choosing urgent care over the ER. It is best to asses the severity of your injury before you choose urgent care over the ER, but do your research. An urgent care facility can handle your injury or illness quickly and efficiently with little to no wait time. Did you know that urgent care facilities are equipped to treat many of the non-life threatening injuries and ailments that emergency rooms handle? If you are considering an urgent care facility, here are three benefits to choosing urgent care over your primary care physician or the emergency room.
- Open Late/Exended Hours.
Although it is best to visit a primary care physician with any major medical concerns, they may not always be available. Many offices close at 5pm and doctors are unavailable to see patients after that time. Since many primary care office hours coincide with regular business hours, people who work full time are at a disadvantage. They are unable to make it to a doctor?s appointment without having to take time off. Check the hours of your local urgent care facility ? most are open until 9pm or later. About 85% of urgent care locations are open on weekends as well (seven days a week), so it is easy to find a location with hours that work with your lifestyle.
- Less Crowded than Emergency Rooms.
Depending on location and the time of day, emergency rooms can inconvenience you with long wait times before you are seen by an emergency room doctor. Emergency room centers are required to treat any patient who seeks help and many people stop in to an ER for minor illnesses like colds or sore throats. Illnesses such as these do not take precedence to trauma or other serious conditions, so they are forced to wait. As more people pass through the triage, your wait time could continue to increase based on the severity of the incoming injuries. The waiting room begins to crowd and you are waiting several hours before you are treated. If your condition is not life-threatening, it may be best to skip the ER altogether and head straight for your local urgent care facility.
- No Need for an Appointment.
Urgent care facilities are great for when your injury or illness is not life-threatening but it cannot wait another day to be treated. Often times, primary care physicians require an appointment that must be made days or weeks in advance. If you have a medical condition that needs immediate treatment like a broken bone, you cannot wait two more days to see your primary doctor. A walk in clinic is going to be your best option to avoid the hassles of an emergency room and get high quality, comprehensive urgent treatment.