Most people know when to visit the doctor. They also know what health problems necessitate a visit to the emergency room. But what about urgent care facilities? Urgent care centers have only become common over the past few years, so to many people, their purpose and the services they offer remain a little unclear. After you read this article, though, you should have more clarity. Here are some FAQs about urgent care centers.
What kind of health problems do urgent care centers treat?
Urgent care centers are basically set up to handle any medical situation that needs prompt care but is not life-threatening. You can also seek care for anything you would normally make an appointment with your normal physician about. Here are some examples of common health problems urgent care centers can address:
- Cuts that require stitches
- Fevers, coughs, colds, and other respiratory ailments
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Minor, suspected concussions
- Suspected strained or sprained joints
- Non-life-threatening allergic reactions
- Small or minor burns
This is not an all-inclusive list. And don't worry — if you show up to the urgent care facility but they think you would get better care at the emergency room, they will send you there.
How do you pay at an urgent care center?
Urgent care centers usually seek to accept as many different types of health insurance as possible. They also offer affordable out-of-pocket services for people without insurance. If you are not sure whether a certain urgent care center will accept your insurance plan, call and ask. But unless you have a really small, obscure insurance company, you can be pretty certain it will be accepted. One common goal of urgent care centers is to make care accessible to everyone, so working with many insurance companies is a part of achieving that goal.
How long will you have to wait at an urgent care center?
If you have gone to the emergency room before and experienced a long, grueling wait, you may fear you'll experience the same thing at an urgent care center. Here's the good news: you won't. One reason urgent care centers were opened was to give patients an alternative to the long waiting times in emergency rooms. In an emergency room, you usually need to wait for people with life-threatening injuries to get care first. In an urgent care center, there are no patients with life-threatening issues. You can expect to get care within an hour, and often much sooner.
With your new understanding of urgent care, you should have a more informed experience if you ever decide to seek care at one of these facilities. Can an urgent care center, such as 75th St Injury & Illness Center, to learn more.