Four Reasons to Opt for Urgent Care Centers Over the ER

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You might have heard of urgent care centers, but have you wondered why anyone would go there instead of simply waiting in the emergency room? After all, aren’t urgent care facilities significantly limited in the kind of treatment options they can offer? The answers to these two questions might surprise you.

Most 24 hr urgent care centers operate just like walk-in clinics, meaning you never have to make an appointment. This means the health care practitioners there are operating on your schedule, though because of urgent care’s short wait times, you’re in and out much more quickly than in the ER. What else can urgent care do for you? Read these four facts below to discover.

Treating non life-threatening injuries and illnesses

Urgent care is sometimes called immediate care, and it’s perhaps just as descriptive of a title as emergency room. People visit 24 hr urgent care centers when they have broken or strained bones, upper respiratory issues, bad coughs, migraines, general dizziness or cuts in need of stitches. In other words, when it’s your life on the line, an ER trip is your best bet. When it’s anything else, urgent care is what you want.

X-rays, physicals and lab testing

Most urgent care centers now offer routine physical examinations for sports or education purposes, which means you can save a trip to a booked doctor’s office in the summer. Plus, the latest 24 hr urgent care facilities come equipped with X-ray machines and lab services in order to best identify broken bones, fractures and illnesses early on. That means less time waiting and more time getting well again.

After-hours coverage

One of the biggest reasons people are choosing 24 hr urgent care centers is because of exactly what their name implies — they’re open ’round the clock. Only 29% of primary care physicians’ offices are, on average, available for appointments outside of normal business operating hours. When you need medical help at 3 a.m. but don’t need a trip to the ER, urgent care can end up being your salvation.

Picking up prescriptions

Some of the more advanced 24 hr urgent care facilities offer point-of-care dispensing, which means you’re able to pick up your prescriptions right on-site. That means you can begin to get better before you even leave the treatment center, a crucial service not always provided by doctors’ offices and hospitals. When you can cut out a separate drive to the pharmacy, why wouldn’t you?

Because of their popularity, most 24 hr urgent care centers accept most major insurance plans, just like hospitals and doctors’ offices. So, any more questions? The next time you or a family member needs a doctor, remember urgent care and you just might save some serious time. Research more here.


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