Five Things You Need to Know About Urgent Care Centers

Urgent care

The funny thing about life is that it stops for nobody, so things like the flu, cuts and scrapes, and other messy medical situations are going to come up no matter what you do. The question you need to ask yourself, however, is where you should go to get treated. More often than not, urgent care centers are a good place to start. But before you go, here area few things you need to know.

You still need your doctor

Although urgent care centers can take care of most things that a doctor’s office can, they are not designed to replace your primary care physician. A trip to urgent care in the even of a sudden illness like a cold is fine, because the facilities are designed to care for you in the present. Your doctor, on the other hand, is the person who is going to track your blood pressure, weight, and look out for your future. So don’t forget about your primary care physician!

Don’t ask for refills

Patients go into urgent care facilities all the time and ask for a refill on a prescription. It seems simple, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. The vast majority of these requests get turned down because, again, a primary care physician is the one who tracks all chronic diseases and medications. An urgent care physician isn’t going to be familiar enough with your medical history to refill your prescription.

Try to go during the day

Although the majority of urgent care clinics are open until 7:00 PM or later on weekdays, it’s better to try to go towards the middle of the day. About 80% of wait times are 60 minutes or less, and you can’t control when medical situations occur, but visiting closer to the middle of the day will often result in a shorter wait time.

You may be surprised at what they can treat

If you’re experiencing a medical emergency that is life threatening, you need to seek emergency services. However, 80% of urgent care centers provide fracture care, and 70% can provide intravenous fluids when needed.

Think it’s the flu?

If you think you have the flu, and can’t get to a primary physician for any reason, you should go to an urgent care center near you. The flu can result in sudden fever, dehydration, and nausea, which require immediate treatment. Self-diagnosis is never a good idea at this point, and the licensed physicians at an urgent care center can help you.

So if you’ve got a case of the sniffles, or a small, non-life threatening wound and can’t get to the doctor, urgent care is the choice for you.

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