You go to your primary care doctor when you have an issue that’s been on your mind for weeks. You go to the emergency room for a life-threatening event that can’t wait. Where do you go in-between? Urgent care is the middle ground between your regular doctor and your nearby emergency room, allowing you to tend to a variety of issues before they get worse at your soonest convenience. Knowing how to balance your multicare resources is not just the difference between saving money and losing hard-earned cash, but the difference between being healthy and unhealthy.
For those unsure which health issues are best suited for each multicare department, read below to learn about urgent care clinics and what they can do for you and your family.
Urgent care medicine is a field both related to and separate from your average hospital and emergency room. This is due to the unique area they occupy between basic health issues and severe events. It’s estimated there are over 20,000 physicians who practice urgent care medicine in the United States as we speak, though the demand has been rising for years now. When nearly three million patients visit an urgent care center every week, this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Every year sees Americans getting a collective one billion colds. Similar averages have been compiled concerning common flu strains, with anywhere between 5% and 20% of Americans contracting this illness every year. Urinary tract infections account for over eight million visits and around 80% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy and poison oak. For those concerned about sprains and broken bones, reports see 25,000 Americans suffering from an ankle sprain every day. This should give you an idea of what urgent care in Puyallup or urgent care in Issaquah can do for you.
What other common issues are brought to the tables of doctors and nurses? The most common diagnosis in an urgent care center was found to be upper respiratory conditions, supported by multiple 2012 studies across different centers. Another very common procedure was wound repair. This can include, but is not limited to, cuts, burns, scrapes and punctures. If you’re unsure if an injury is serious enough to warrant a visit, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The average urgent care clinic is more affordable than the emergency room, saving you money and stress.
Not all establishments function the same, however, and it’s your responsibility to double-check the ones in your area for the type of care they offer. Four out of five urgent care centers will provide fracture care. Another 85% of urgent care centers are open every day of the week. Some, however, have more limited hours or are closed on certain days. Rather than be met with a disappointment when you need to get a quick check-up or form of medication, do a little research and make sure you’re covered no matter what happens.
There are ways to take care of yourself little-by-little to discourage the onset of more common conditions. Urinary tract infections can be better prevented by regularly wearing clean underwear, drinking plenty of water and practicing safe sex. Ankle sprains are frequently received during work and can be discouraged by wearing proper footwear. When it comes to contracting the common cold or the flu, it’s important to wash your hands regularly for the former and get your flu shot on a yearly basis.
Effective multicare means always being aware of your options and using them wisely. A little awareness and preparation will ensure you’re always getting the help you need when you need it.