When you have a painful illness, such as in ear infection, a deep cough, or an upper respiratory infection, you want relief as soon as possible. This can be hard to secure since many physicians can be booked out for weeks, and they often do not offer after hours urgent care. The emergency room is also an option, but it could take hours to be seen, and you could leave the ER with a huge hole in your pocket.
Luckily, in many states, there are urgent care centers that can come to your rescue, and many of them are open 24 hours for your convenience. About 10% of them are found in rural areas, while the majority are located in suburbs. Once you reach the urgent care facility, you can expect to be seen within 20 minutes in about 70% of these centers, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. No appointments are necessary either, so these centers are considered walk in clinics, and it may cost you only about $150.
Urgent care clinics are becoming extremely popular as there are more than 9,000 of these centers in the country, and about 20,000 doctors are currently practicing Urgent Care Medicine. At least one physician is required to be on-site at all times at urgent care facilities, and these clinics also staff licensed nurses and medical assistants. These qualified professionals can take care of routine ear infections, the flu, school physicals, minor lacerations, and any non-life threating illnesses. In fact, about 35% of ER visits by patients in the U.S. could have experienced faster, more affordable care at an urgent care center instead.
So the next time you fall sick, consider making a trip out to an urgent care center near you. You can get immediate care for your illness, and you can expect to be in and out of the clinic within an hour, without spending thousands of dollars. With the time and money saved going to an urgent care facility, the ER will become a distant memory. Continue reading here.