When you are unwell, you may feel an urgency for immediate medical care. You may even consider going to the closest emergency room (ER). However, not all conditions require the costly and time-consuming services of an ER. An urgent care center is better suited for a lot of health issues.
If you’re confused as to when you need help from an urgent care facility, here is some guidance.
There are a variety of health conditions and injuries that garner immediate medical attention but are not considered life-threatening. The emergency room of a hospital is designed to assist in life-threatening situations. People who suffer concussions, heart attacks, severe bleeding, or have trouble breathing are perfect examples of emergency room patients. However, not everyone who needs immediate medical attention has these types of problems. In fact, a majority of people needing care do not have a condition or injury that is life-threatening.
For such individuals, visiting an emergency room is not necessary. In fact, these individuals often cause over-crowding in ERs, leading to extended wait times for patients who truly need medical attention.
So, what should people with non-life-threatening injuries and conditions do? Visit an urgent care center! Urgent care centers are designed to provide medical attention to patients who cannot wait to schedule an appointment with their regular doctor and need medical care immediately. Urgent care centers are equipped with diagnostic services that help doctors get to the root cause of many illnesses. They are also equipped with physicians and staff experienced in handling injuries such as minor cuts and burns, sprained ankles, back pain, and more.
When To Go To An Urgent Care Clinic
There are many illnesses and injuries that garner a visit to an urgent care facility. Examples include:
- Colds, cough, and flu
- Eye irritation or redness
- Mild fever
- Muscle pains
- Minor cuts and burns
- Persistent diarrhea
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Sore throat
- Sprains and strains
While your family doctor may treat these conditions just as effectively, they may not be as available and accessible as urgent care facilities. Urgent care clinics are open for extended hours. So, anyone can visit these clinics for immediate medical care.
Usually, urgent care facilities are run by general practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants. However, some facilities go beyond this scope and provide more specialized services. Geriatric, pediatric, and orthopedic care are specialties an urgent care facility may have. Some clinics also offer other urgent care services, such as vaccinations, as well as laboratory and diagnostic tests.
So, when should you forgo visiting an urgent care center and go to the emergency room? You should head straight to an emergency room for life-threatening situations and time-constraining conditions. Call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room if you have any of these conditions or symptoms:
- Deep wounds
- Drug or alcohol overdose
- Extreme breathing difficulties
- Head or spine injury
- Loss of consciousness
- Major burns
- Severe bleeding
- Severe chest pain
- Stroke (sudden numbness in one side, confusion, trouble walking, headache)
Urgent care facilities provide immediate medical care for lesser costs and with shorter waiting periods. Additionally, choosing such a facility can help reduce your exposure to other diseases and unpleasant ER experiences. So, if you have medical emergencies that are non-life-threatening, visit an urgent care facility.
If you’re looking for such a facility, choose Patient Care Now Urgent Care.
We provide urgent care for all ages – all day, every day. We also have access to imaging equipment, laboratories, and other necessary diagnostic tests for comprehensive services.
You can visit our location at Fairless Hills, PA or call us at (267) 202-6433. No appointment scheduling is necessary, but you can check in online to let us know you’re coming. We look forward to helping improve your overall health!