Urgent care is an undeniable need in the United States, especially as the population grows and the need for health care rises. It’s estimated that by 2025, the United States will need an additional 52,000 primary care physicians in order to meet the country’s health care needs. Even now, the average emergency clinic or walk in health clinic sees about 342 patients a week, signaling a need for these clinics in the general public. Unfortunately, some are still not taking advantage of all that they offer, believing that health clinics don’t provide the same level of care as doctor’s offices. This is simply not the case, and there are plenty of reasons to visit an urgent care clinic first.
Shorter Wait Times
The average urgent care unit usually has shorter wait times than the emergency room. Indeed, 69% of urgent care centers can see their patients in less than 20 minutes, while 28% have wait times between 21 and 40 minutes. Only 3% have wait times of more than 40 minutes, compared to emergency rooms that often have wait times of an hour or more. These shorter wait times can not only prevent potentially hours of pain, but allow people with busy schedules to have less urgent medical necessities, from school physicals to flu shots, taken care of in a timely manner.
Convenience Without Losing Quality
Again, there are medical necessities that people have to tend to in order to go to school or work certain jobs. An urgent care clinic is the perfect place for students to get their school physicals and vaccines. Of course, school physicals aren’t the only routine exams that many deal with. Athletes also have to undergo sports physicals, and women need yearly or biannual exams in order to safeguard their health. All of these can be managed at the average urgent care clinic, and due to its convenience, patients don’t worry about their whole day being spent seeing a doctor.
A major reason why many turn to urgent care clinics over the emergency room or their primary care physician is the expense involved. Though the difference between an urgent care clinic visit and an emergency room visit can range between $228 and $583, urgent care patients are receive the same level of care, with over 95% of urgent care clinics having qualified physicians on staff. Furthermore, this ensures that on the off chance that a patient’s symptoms exceed an urgent care clinic’s capabilities, they will be referred to a hospital as soon as possible.
As you can see, there are so many pros to visiting an urgent care clinic first, and little to no cons. You can have your health taken care of in an affordable manner; and the great thing is that what’s most important … your well … being — needn’t be neglected.