Urgent Care and You – How to Get Patched Up Without Paying a Fortune to the Emergency Room

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The emergency room or local hospital is not your only hope for recovering from an ailment or affliction of some kind. In the United States alone, there are almost 7,000 urgent care clinics, mostly located in standalone facilities which operate entirely independently of hospitals. If you are hurt or otherwise require medical attention, and are too far away from a hospital or cannot get yourself into the hands of a medical professional there due to a wait or hold on incoming patients, it might be worth taking a look at an urgent care facility near you.

Urgent care facilities are smaller than hospitals, but provide many of the same services. Aside from their being able to patch you up in the event of many injuries that don’t require surgery, they are also vital in that they provide a huge amount of tests and proactive solutions to some common medical emergencies. Many urgent care centers are actually preferred over hospitals in some regards, such as their functionality as an STD testing center.

While contracting an STD is obviously very serious business, it may not always warrant seeing someone in the operating room or scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician. Urgent care centers are more than capable STD testing centers, and usually have specialty physicians and medicines in good supply and on premises to provide care for those individuals. In very serious cases, one might be recommended to their primary care physician, but truly — urgent care centers have come a long way. About two-thirds of these centers employ a veritable mix of physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and other medical professionals. At least 65 percent of these facilities have a licensed physician on site at all times.

Reasons for checking into an urgent care facility rather than the hospital are many. Some like the smaller, more intimate approach to patient care. Others simply love the fact that these facilities don’t charge an arm and a leg to fix an arm and a leg. Often times these centers charge about $150 for a visit, whereas emergency rooms charge up to ten times more.

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