What is Urgent Care?
Urgent care is a division of medical services that’s for immediate treatment for outpatient care. Vital to the backbone of our healthcare system, urgent care is not meant to replace the duties of your primary physician.
Instead it’s a convenient way to get urgent care that may not be life-threatening condition, but one that can’t wait. Flexible and open during times where normal physicians are not available, urgent care centers provide a high quality easy access means to receive the medical attention people need.
Not a branch of any typical hospital, urgent care centers are on the front lines of medicine and hospice care. Because they are meant to provide fast efficient healthcare, the best urgent care center needs to be proficient at efficiently evaluating and providing care.
There are many variations of Urgent Care, many of which provide specialized medicinal practices that can provide urgent care. Because of this reason, you are best served by properly researching the urgent care center ahead of time.
Convenient lists of urgent care centers like this website can provide the information that patients need to choose these facilities when they are unable to see their usual doctor in a timely fashion.
When Should I Go to the Urgent Care?
Urgent care is for injuries that are severe enough to require immediate attention, but typically not life-threatening. For more serious injuries or emergencies, it’s best to head to the emergency room. Urgent Care should provide immediate service that’s both efficient and able to deliver quality healthcare service.
Many different kinds of injuries or medical conditions can quality for urgent care, but if your injury is seriously life threatening, call 911 and head to the closest emergency room (ER). You should go to urgent care when the injury is not that severe.
You will find that the costs are much more reasonable and the level of service and wait times are far superior to the average emergency room.
Urgent Care Center vs. Emergency Room
While these are two types of urgent care center, they are drastically different for many reasons. Emergency rooms are part of every hospital and are meant for life-threatening emergencies. Most emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day and can become congested or have longer wait times than an urgent care center.
Depending on your healthcare insurance, at least part of your emergency room visit should be covered, even if it’s out of their coverage network. Typically once you have received the care you need, you can then be transferred to a hospital that’s covered by your insurance.
If you don’t have the right healthcare plan however, you can also expect additional fees that could make a trip to the emergency room prohibitively expensive. These additional fees could include an ER co-payment, insurance co-payment or emergency room deductible.
If the hospital and emergency care you receive is located out of your insurance companies’ network, there may be an additional out-of-network charge. For more information on the details of your healthcare policy and how it relates to emergency room visits, check with your insurance company.
Urgent care centers differ from emergency rooms in that they are not open 24 hours a day, but will have extended hours that provide coverage where your physician may not.
Your urgent care center may be connected to a hospital or related to one, but most are separate identities. Top notch healthcare service for conditions that aren’t quite life threatening, but ones that can’t wait until the next day either.
Urgent Care Center vs. Walk-in Clinic
Walk-in clinics are great for when your injury or condition is not severe, and designed to serve people who are uninsured as well as underinsured. Meant to give people basic medical services that will cover more common and typical non-life-threatening conditions.
The difference between these two different types of medical facilities is that walk-in clinics are meant for convenience. Minor injuries like cuts or burns, sprains and routine physicals are the types of medical attention that walk-in clinics are perfect for.
Care is provided for in the walk-in clinic as a first come first served basis and usually the wait times are very minimal. Like urgent care centers, there are many versions of the walk-in clinic that can cover things like pregnancy tests or vaccinations for children.
Pediatric Urgent Care vs. Adult Urgent Care
Pediatric urgent care clinics are specialized branches of medical center that’s geared towards children and handling the very specific needs of kids. Because your child will want to receive the right attention for their condition, Pediatric urgent care clinics treat more serious illnesses and injuries.
Like the adult urgent care centers, these pediatric facilities are usually open extended hours as well as having weekend services. When your child is injured, locating the right Pediatric Urgent care clinic is easy and straightforward.
Physicians can provide x-rays, administer IVs and treat minor and moderately severe trauma for non-life-threatening conditions such as broken bones or deep lacerations.