If you’ve ever been sick or injured and have gone to the Emergency Room, then you know just how painful of an experience it can be. The wait times tend to go on forever as you sit among a crowd of fellow E.R. goers, the doctors and nurses are so busy that it feels as if they have little time for you, and the bill you receive weeks later is usually exorbitant. While the E.R. is usually thought of as a means of immediate care, it isn’t the only one, nor is it the best. Walk in clinics, or what is usually referred to as Urgent Care, is a great substitution for the inclimate headache that follows from visiting the E.R..
If you’ve never heard of a walk in urgent care, the basic premise is that you can simply walk in, set up an appointment with a physician on site and be seen in no time. They can take care of, diagnose, and prescribe medication for the majority of things people walk in for (depending upon how severe their medical problem might be). The ways in which walk in urgent care facilities outweigh E.R.s is quite long, but let’s consider some of the specific benefits to visiting an urgent care clinic:
Short Wait Times: According to surveys taken by The Urgent Care Association of America, 57% of patients usually wait less than 15 minutes to be seen, while 80% of all walk in visits last 60 minutes or less.
There Are Physicians On-Site: Roughly 65% of all walk in urgent care locations have a physician on-site at all times. Nearly 60% of all centers also feature a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see one of these physicians.
Quick Care Without Long Waits: Even though the wait for a visit with a walk in urgent care is short, you’re not just receiving a diagnosis or being referred to another doctor, but you can receive care within the office itself. 70% of urgent care facilities provide intravenous fluids as needed and 80% of locations can provide care for bone fractures. Similarly, if a prescription for medication is needed, approximately 40% of locations provide electronic prescription ordering systems, as well as electronic systems that can readily share your appointments information with your primary care physician.
Open for Long Hours: Walk in urgent care facilities tend to be open more often than primary care physician offices too. 90% of urgent care centers are usually open until 7:00 pm or later on weeknights. Similarly, they tend to open early, with nearly 70% of locations opening prior to 9:00 am on weekdays, with a notable proportion of them doing so on the weekends too.
So if you’re in a spot, requiring medical assistance or in need of a quick checkup, yet are unable to see your primary physician and don’t wish to waste your time at the E.R., then walk in urgent care might just be exactly what you’re looking for.