All across the nation, residents have become increasingly reliant on emergency room care. That means that overcrowding and long wait times can be a huge issue. Between 2003 and 2009, the mean ER wait time increased from 46.5 minutes to 58.1 minutes. That often means that in true emergencies, patients aren’t able to receive fast, effective treatments as they should. In addition, a trip to the ER can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and that bill may or may not be covered by your insurance. This leaves many folks wondering whether there’s a better way to receive the medical assistance they need.
In numerous cases, the neighborhood health clinic can provide high-quality care in a much shorter time span. But contrary to what you might believe, your after hours urgent care center isn’t only for minor illnesses or for when you’re between family care providers. While your urgent care facility can serve these purposes, these centers actually handle a lot more on a regular basis. It’s often both a great alternative to the emergency room and the best place to go for non-emergency medical needs. Let’s take a closer look at three surprising situations that can be addressed by going to the after hours urgent care location closest to you.
Broken bones, fractures, and sprains
Countless children and adults sustain bone fractures, broken bones, and other related injuries every year. You might think that these incidents always require an emergency room trip, but think again. Most urgent care centers have X-ray machines and knowledgeable staff on-site who can identify and treat these injuries just as well as any ER doctor or personal physician can. Plus, you won’t have to deal with a seemingly endless wait.
Blood and STD testing
Most people think they need to make an appointment with their family doctor to have blood testing done. But if you are worried you might have been recently exposed to someone with an STD or you need quick reassurance that you aren’t suffering from a chronic condition, you don’t need to go to the ER to have these lab tests performed. Instead, your urgent care facility can take care of everything. They can even provide you with at home STD testing kits that you can perform in private. This is often much more convenient and much less stressful, which are often important factors with these kinds of tests.
Dehydration and dizziness
If you’re feeling off-balance or wonder if you might be dealing with dehydration, you need fast answers. Unfortunately, you may not always get them if you go to the ER. Dizziness is an extremely common complaint and can make your daily routine a dangerous one. Since it has a multitude of possible causes, you should get it checked out straight away. And if you’re severely dehydrated, your urgent care clinic can provide IV fluids immediately. That way, you don’t have to spend hours waiting for confirmation and subsequent treatment.
Don’t assume that the hospital emergency room is your only option for treatment. Your local after hours urgent care clinic will be able to provide top-notch care in far less time (and usually for a much lower cost). Whether you’re unable to secure an appointment with your regular physician or you’re simply concerned your situation warrants immediate treatment, check out a medical walk in clinic near you.