Do you suffer constantly during flu season? Are your allergies out of control during the change in seasons? Are you someone who’s accident prone and is always getting cuts and scrapes? Are you an athlete who’s always getting bumps and bruises?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes and you’re looking for treatment, your first inclination might be to go to the emergency room or visit your primary doctor. But let’s say your primary doctor is booked solid for two weeks and you know the ER will have you sit and wait. What do you do then?
The answer is simple: visit an urgent care clinic. It’s a type of walk-in clinic that will get you in to see a doctor faster and can treat many types of non life-threating aliments. More than three million people visit urgent cares around the United States each week for a variety of treatments.
Don’t think your illness or injury will be treated in an urgent care facility? Think again. The list of symptoms that an urgent care facility can treat continues to grow all the time. As it stands, the average urgent care facility can treat people for ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases, muscle strain, dizziness, sprains, common sports injuries and many other aliments.
Some of them might vary in the services they offer, but when it comes to urgent care facilities what all of them offer is a quicker and more cost-effective way to treat a number of common, everyday medical ailments.
Still not convinced? Consider these statistics:
- Dizziness is the second most common complaint heard in doctor’s offices and it occurs in 70% of the American population.
- Somewhere between 5-20% of Americans suffer from the flu every year.
- More than 80% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy and it can be found everywhere in the United States except Alaska and Hawaii.
- Americans suffer from about a billion colds annually.
- 65% of people older than 60 experience dizziness or loss of balance, sometimes daily.
- At least 40% of those suffering from chronic low-back pain don’t see a doctor or physical therapist.
- Approximately 25,000 Americans suffer every day from an ankle sprain.
- Up to 69% of Americans say low back pain affects them on a daily basis.
Visiting an urgent care can help treat all of the symptoms mentioned above and a lot more. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get in a lot faster to see a doctor. More than half of urgent care facilities have a wait time of less than 15 minutes and most of them have a physician on site at all times to treat patients. Additionally, urgent care centers stay open longer. Most are open until at least 7 p.m. on weekdays and some are even open until 9 p.m. or later. Depending on where you live, you may find urgent cares that open prior to 9 a.m. and are even open on weekends.
So what else can an urgent care do for you?
- Seven in ten urgent care centers can provide IV fluids when needed.
- About 40% of urgent care centers use electronic prescription ordering systems and many of them use computerized systems to collect patient data, clinical notes and billing information.
- A physician or a group of top doctors owns about 50% of urgent care centers, which gives that person or group of people a vested interested in having the facility run to the best of its ability.
If you’ve got a life-threatening issue, please do what’s best for health and visit the emergency room. The last thing you want to do is roll the dice on your health just to save money or time. Emergency room doctors play an important role in medical care and if you’re suffering from a severe injury or something like food poisoning (something near 50 million Americans experience each year), they’re the ones to see.
But for non life-threatening injuries and common, easily-treatment symptoms and conditions, an urgent care facility can save you time and money while offering you treatment for a wide variety of things.