Any number of things can occur at any hour, on any day, that could require to need medical help and urgent care. You never know when an illness will hit that you need medication for immediately or an injury will occur that needs cared for right away. You probably have your normal doctors you visit for routine procedures and check-ups. They might not be the most convenient option when something unexpected occurs whether it?s illness or injury. Depending on who you are with, it may be more convenient to find an urgent care facility closer to you. An urgent care facility will also have hours and urgent care locations that are more convenient for unexpected illnesses and injuries.
So, how do you know whether or not you should book an appointment with your regular doctor or you should make a last-minute decision to instead head to an urgent care clinic?
Well, there?s no easy answer. At the time of the unexpected illness or injury, you will probably know what the right answer is, though. The convenience of urgent care clinics is one of the most obvious reasons that it might be the right answer. Since there are 20,000 physicians that practice urgent care in the United States today, there will not be a shortage of available doctors when you decide to visit on of their clinics.
The convenience of urgent care facilities is also making an increasingly popular choice in the United States. If you are looking for somewhere that is open most frequently, it is your best option given that 85 percent of urgent care locations are open for seven days a week. That is likely unlike the hours at your regular doctor?s office. They are probably only open Monday through Friday with restricted hours during each of those weekdays. This explains why each week urgent cares are visited by nearly 3 million patients according to the Urgent Care Association of America.
You may be wondering what types of illnesses and injuries urgent care facilities can treat in comparison to the regular doctor?s office. Some of the most common reasons people visit an urgent care facility is for wounds and upper respiratory conditions. In 2012, these were the most common diagnoses at urgent care locations in the United States.
If it is not a wound that is being treated at urgent care, another frequent thing treated are ankle sprains and fracture care. It is easier than you think to sprain your ankle or fracture a bone in your body. In fact, each day Americans suffer 25,000 ankle sprains. When the normal doctor?s office is closed and the emergency room requires long wait times and a more expensive bill, urgent care is where you want to go. Any time you think you might have rolled your ankle inward, it is likely that is an ankle sprain as 80 percent of them occur from inversion.
Additionally, if you have fracture, it is likely the urgent care location you visit can treat the pain. Four out of five locations have the necessary tools, knowledge and technology to properly treat a fracture of any sort.
The next time you or a loved one comes down with an unexpected illness or an emergent injury takes place, make sure you consider taking them to the closest urgent care. Their illness or injury will be treated more quickly than it would at the emergency room, and the facility would have later hours and weekend hours unlike your regular doctor?s office.
Have you ever visited an after hours urgent care for an illness or injury? Why did you choose urgent care over your regular doctor?s office or the emergency room? Let us know in the comments about your experience at urgent care facilities in the United States.