If you’re having some type of medical emergency, you should of course go to your nearest emergency room as soon as you possibly can. Any type of medical emergency is not something to be messed with, and it is certainly better to be overcautious and safe than sorry when it comes to a medical emergency of any nature. And when it comes to all of the options for medical care out there, the emergency room is certainly the place to take any given medical emergency, as such a placed to specifically designed to handle the medical emergency instead of the less severe case.
But where do you go if you’re not having a medical emergency but are still in need of urgent medical care or just medical care in general? If you’re not having a medical emergency, you’ll likely consider going to your general care practitioner’s office. If they are closed, such as in the early morning, the evening and night, and on the weekends (as well as on a number of holidays), it can be tempting to go to your local emergency room for care for your non emergent medical condition.
But seeking such emergency care is often not a good idea. For one thing, the wait time at your local emergency center will be long – at least one hour, if not even longer than that. In addition to this, the cost of visiting such an ER will be high, more than $1,000 on average – and sometimes even considerably more than that. But what’s the alternative.
In many cases, it will be your local urgent care center. After all, urgent care centers have become more popular than ever, with more than one quarter of the population visiting one at least once over the course of the last two or so years. In addition to this, up to three million patients seek medical care at an urgent care center not over the course of a year or even a month, but over the course of just one single week. And as of the current date, there are well over 7,000 urgent care locations open and operational all throughout the country, up from only just over 6,000 back in the year of 2015. At these urgent care clinics, up to 20,000 doctors and other such medical professionals are employed, a number that is also very much on the rise.
And urgent care centers are ideal for a number of reasons. For one thing, they boast incredibly short wait times. In more than 60% of all urgent care locations, the wait time will be no greater than an average of 15 minutes. And in more than 90% of all urgent care centers located throughout the United States, the average wait time will be no greater than a max of 30 minutes. For the average urgent care patient, getting in, getting treatment, and getting out takes only just one hour, an incredibly short span of time compared to the typical ER visit, to say the very least.
And urgent care locations can also treat a wide array of medical concerns. For while a true medical emergency should certainly be seen in an emergency room, even serious medical cases can be adequately and accurately treated in the typical urgent care setting. For instance, up to 80% of all urgent care centers are actually able to provide some level of fracture care. In addition to this, nearly three quarters of urgent care locations can also provide IV fluids. At the end of the day, there are many things that urgent care centers are able to provide to various types of patients, and these should certainly not be underestimated by any means.
The next time that you’re in need of medical care, consider going to your local urgent care center. Your local urgent care center likely has more to offer you than you realize, after all, from short wait times to thorough and comprehensive patient care. If it’s not a true medical emergency, going to an urgent care location instead of to the emergency room will save you time as well as money. Fortunately, there’s likely an urgent care location in your neighborhood, or will be soon.