Urgent care centers are quickly becoming the new go-to in the world of healthcare, especially for immediate care. Currently there are well over 6,800 urgent care clinics, most of which are located in freestanding buildings, in the U.S. alone. While the convenient, efficient, and cost-effective benefits of these walk in clinics have been covered by many news outlets and marketing campaigns, one of the other less-reported areas they can service are in medical tests.
Medical tests may be required for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common, non-emergency ones are offered at most urgent care centers. Instead of waiting for an appointment with a primary care physician, here are three standard medical tests that you can have done at a moments notice in urgent care locations across the country.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases: STD testing is incredibly important, but unfortunately for various reasons, such as embarrassment, many people don’t like the idea of asking their doctor to have it done. If you have reason to believe you’re at risk urgent care centers offer the perfect option to have the proper medical tests done. All without having to deal directly with someone you might be less inclined to reveal such information to.
- Sports Physical: Sports physicals are used to ensure a child is in good health so they can participate in organized sports safely. Usually school districts offer them before the start of a new sports season, but many family’s other life events will undoubtedly conflict with the designated time slot more than once. In that sense stopping at an urgent care center to get a quick sports physical is a convenient and practical option for this medical test as well.
- Flu/Illness: Getting sick is inevitable for everyone at some point or another, but it’s important to find out if you’re suffering from a minor head cold or something more serious like the flu or strep throat. On average, between 5 and 20% of Americans come down with the flu each year and collectively about 1 billion colds are caught each year.
With short wait times these centers offer an opportunity to get medical testing done to diagnose exactly what’s wrong with you and get you prescribed if need be in a short time. According to a survey by The Urgent Care Association of America, 57 percent of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and about 80 percent of all visits are 60 minutes or less.
The next time you or your family needs one of these medical tests think about heading to an urgent care center instead of scheduling an appointment with your doctor or specialist.