In many instances where people need urgent medical attention, they can visit their nearest urgent care clinic rather than a traditional hospital emergency room. The Urgent Care Association of America estimated that three million patients visits these facilities on a weekly basis. While it will depend on the specific urgent care center, 85% are open every day of the week. Currently, there are 20,000 physicians practicing within this growing field of medicine. Emergency room nurses and other experienced staff also provide services at these facilities.
Types of Medical Issues Treated at Urgent Care Centers
There are quite a few issues that can be addressed at an urgent care center. In addition to administering blood, urine, and other types of diagnostic tests, this includes providing treatment for the following conditions and illnesses:
- Back pain
- Bites and rashes
- Bone fractures
- Ear infections
- Kidney infections
Chronic Back Pain
Back pain, for example, is a common complaint. As many as 69% of Americans experience this type of pain, which can have a negative impact on their daily lives. While four out of ten individuals will exercise in an attempt to relieve this pain, seeing a doctor or a physical therapist is often recommended. It’s interesting to note that many individuals experience chronic back pain and don’t seek medical attention. This applies to approximately 40% of chronic back pain sufferers.
Many urgent care centers provide physical therapy, which can be beneficial for individuals suffering with sporadic or chronic back pain. In addition to providing specific exercises to assist with reducing pain and increasing mobility, working with physical therapy equipment may be recommended. If someone has been in a work-related accident, for instance, there are urgent care clinics that address occupational health issues.
Visit an Urgent Care Facility Near You
If you’ve never been to an urgent care center before, you can visit one in your area to learn more about the services they provide. It’s important to note that a large percentage of these facilities offer preventative care such as flu vaccinations. When you visit your local medical walk-in clinic, you may be interested in learning about the types of professionals they have on staff. In addition to an emergency room physician, your local clinic may also have an emergency room nurse, a physician assistant, technicians, and other staff members.
In the event that you do need medical assistance, remember that you can just walk in without an appointment. While it will depend on your medical issue and how many other patients arrived before you, it will usually only be 15 minutes or so before you see a physician, physician assistant, or emergency room nurse.