There are a lot of health issues that an urgent care clinic can help with, that can save you a long and expensive trip to the emergency room or the hospital. People get clinic care for skin issues, colds and flu, blood tests, insect bites, allergies, UTIs, vomiting and other stomach distress, ear infections, heartburn, and headache, to name just a few. It’s also a good choice for low back pain treatment, something which four in 10 people are trying to relieve just by exercise.
Are Clinics a Good Choice?
Clinic care can be a great choice. America’s urgent care centers get three million patient visits every week, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. There are also about 20,000 doctors practicing in these clinics today. Most of the clinics, about 85% are open seven days a week, and four of five of them can provide care for fractures.
What to Look For in a Clinic?
The first thing to look for is accreditation or certification. There are a number of accrediting places like the Urgent Care Association of America, or even clinics that are associated with local hospitals. The next thing to do is to look for clinics that have at least one physician on staff. It’s also good to find centers that have after-hours care, so you don’t have to take off work in order to see the doctor. Finally, it’s worth looking for clinics that have the resources to take care of acute issues and also preventative care.
How do I Know if I Should Get Clinic Care or See an Emergency Room Physician?
If you have a medical condition and you need help, but you don’t have an emergency, clinic care is for you. These are essentially anything that can’t wait for you to make an appointment with your doctor but aren’t actually an emergency worthy of the hospital. A fever, rashes, minor infections and cuts, sprains or sports injuries, headaches, and stomach pain all qualify. If you have an emergency medical condition, the emergency room or a call to 911 is in order. Emergency conditions include very sudden, severe pain, broken bones, rapid changes in someone’s mental state, severe burns, coughing up blood, or chest pain.
It can be very scary to have a medical condition of any kind, but there are many options available for different types of needs. Educate yourself in advance and you’ll be able to make a good decision when things seem frightening and confusing. Know the signs that warrant a trip to the emergency room and always know the nearest emergency room number. For clinic care, do some research in advance so you’ll know the best choice to make when you need help.