Urgent care centers have been playing a significant role as health resources for many people all around the world. While these health care facilities have become increasingly popular, not everyone knows what to expect from them. Urgent Care clinics may vary in the services they offer. Here’s a guide on the common services they can provide.
Urgent cares have served many communities and benefited many patients. These clinics or centers provide affordable and fast services for people with non-life-threatening conditions. They offer convenient treatment options that help medical communities reduce the number of people who rush directly to hospitals and emergency health units. Here are the most common treatments and services provided by urgent care centers:
- Non-life-threatening conditions. When you or a family member is suffering from a cough, cold, flu, or an illness not considered serious, the nearest urgent care center may help you. These centers have licensed general physicians and nurse practitioners available. Urgent care clinics will provide the same quality treatment you’d get in a regular doctor’s office. Many clinics such as perfecthealth247.com have branches in different locations. Their contact numbers should be provided on their websites.
- Minor physical injuries. These conditions may range from sprains, lacerations, minor burns, or small fractures. Urgent care centers’ staff are trained to treat minor conditions like the ones mentioned.
- Fitness exams. Aside from medical care, urgent care clinics may also offer wellness checkups such as those required by schools or sports centers. Many of these clinics may need you to book an appointment in advance. Also, these centers have medical practitioners trained to administer physical fitness exams for adults and kids.
- Testing for sexually transmitted diseases. This is among the most vital services that these centers offer. Most urgent care clinics have laboratories for STD testing. Moreover, these clinics are available all days of the week and even accept patients past 7 PM.
- Other non-critical injuries. Urgent care clinics offer bloodwork, physical therapy, employment-related drug tests, or X-ray testing. You may ask the nearest urgent care center for the list of full services they offer.
- Vaccinations. Urgent cares can also provide regular flu vaccines and other specific vaccines. Common flu treatments and vaccinations may require you to set an appointment with the clinic first.
When Should You Go to an Urgent Care Center?
Injuries or illnesses that don’t appear to be fatal but can’t be left untreated until the next day should require the services of urgent cares. However, life-threatening emergencies such as head injuries or heart attacks should be directed to the emergency room. Urgent care centers can also provide fast access to healthcare services when your physician’s office is closed.
Here are some examples of non-life-threatening conditions that can be treated in urgent care centers:
- Minor cuts that may need stitching
- Mild to moderate asthma
- Eye redness or irritation
- Skin infections
- Fever or flu
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Minor fractures
- Severe cough or sore throat
- Moderate back problems
- Urinary tract infections
What are Life-Threatening Emergencies?
Life-threatening emergencies are conditions that can endanger your life or permanently impair your well-being. It’s best to dial 911 if you have a medical emergency such as any of the following:
- Deep gunshot or knife wounds
- Seizures or convulsions
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Pregnancy-related problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Moderate to severe burns
- Stroke symptoms
- Severe chest pain
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings
Things To Do Before Going to an Urgent Care Center
If you need help in minor emergencies, urgent care centers are a good option. Here are some things you should know before going to one.
- Check-in online. Urgent care centers are usually walk-in facilities that don’t necessitate an appointment. However, your waiting time can differ significantly depending on the number of patients. Some clinics also allow booking ahead of time for appointments. Thus, it won’t hurt to book in advance to check if you can reserve a specific time slot and reduce your waiting time. Some centers may not allow appointments, but you can still check-in online through their website. You will have to provide initial information in reserving a spot.
- Find the clinic for your needs. You don’t have to wait until you’re feeling extremely unwell before looking for an urgent care clinic. It’s best to find a clinic that will accept your health insurance plan and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. You should also find a facility that provides the care you need. For instance, some clinics specialize in pediatric services while some may provide services for women’s health. Know the location of the nearest urgent care center and familiarize yourself with the services they offer, including their operating hours.
- Know what to bring. Urgent care clinics may not have access to their patients’ medical histories. Thus, to receive fast treatment and care, ensure that you bring all the necessary medical documents with you. Here are some pointers on the required documents:
- Ensure that you have your latest health insurance information and the list of prescription medicines that you’re currently taking.
- It would also be helpful to have a list of previous medical diagnoses, your doctor’s name, and contact information.
- If you’re bringing a minor with you who’s not your child, secure parental authorization.
- Bring a valid ID with you for verification purposes.
- Be ready for the necessary fees that you have to pay for the clinic’s services.
- Check the best time to go. Find out the clinic’s operating hours and know that some time slots could be more loaded than the others. Weekends, evenings, or holidays may be particularly busy because most doctors’ offices are closed during these times.
- Acquaint yourself with other qualified medical practitioners. To set things straight, know that the person who will attend to your needs at an urgent care clinic may not be a doctor. Many of these clinics have doctors on duty but they should also have nurse practitioners, doctor assistants, and other providers who can diagnose and treat various health conditions. No matter what your condition is, urgent care clinics will give you proper treatment and advice.
Urgent care centers work best for people who are in need of immediate attention for non-life-threatening conditions. These clinics are affordable and convenient, but you need to understand that these centers can’t replace emergency rooms. If you’re planning to have your minor condition treated at an urgent care center, check their website first for information such as how to book an appointment and their operating hours.