The average American works over 8 hours a day, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It also reported that over 6 million Americans work multiple jobs. And still the number continues to grow of American workers — 25 years old and older — who are to college while holding down a job and raising a family.
In essence, time is an issue for the average working American who doesn’t have time to slow down for an illness or minor injury. For those individuals, there is the convenience of urgent care clinics, which are walk in clinics that offer medical diagnosis and treatments.
There are 7,100 urgent care centers across the country that staff around 20,000 doctors and treat an average of 3 million patients every week, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. More over, 85 % of these convenient medical care clinics open everyday.
Here are some health care services urgent care clinics provide:
Upper respiratory conditions were the most common diagnosis reported by urgent care centers in 2012. Urgent care doctors can provide medical treatment to help speed up recovery and reduce symptoms.
Among those conditions are:
- Influenza: Each year, 5% to 20% of Americans are diagnosed with the flu. Symptoms may not be noticeable for 1 to 5 days. At that point, the person is contagious for 5 to 10 days.
- Symptoms may include a fever, sore throat, cough, muscle or body aches, fatigue, etc.
- Common cold: Americans catch close to 1 billion colds, yearly. Symptoms can last anywhere between 2 to 14 days, but patients usually recover by the 10th day.
- Symptoms may include a cough, congestion, runny nose, muscle pain, body ache, fever, watery and/or itchy eyes, headache and chest pressure or pain.
- UTIs: About 8.1 million Americans are treated for urinary tract infections, every year. A UTI is an infection in the urinary system.
- Symptoms may include pain, fatigue and/or change in urine appearance or odor.
Each year, over 50 million Americans experience from pollen or molds, pet dander, insect stings or bits, various foods, certain medications or various plants, according to reports.
Urgent care doctors can provide treatments for minor allergic reactions to help reduce or eliminate symptoms.
- Food allergies: The most common allergy is food allergies. About 90% of food allergies are caused by milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.
- Symptoms may include running nose, gas, headache, rash or diarrhea.
- Poison ivy: Roughly 85% of American could suffer an allergic reaction to poison ivy. Poison ivy grows in all 48 of the contiguous states in the United States. Other plant allergies include poison oak, which grows in western states, and poison sumac, which grows in eastern and southeastern states.
- Symptoms usually develop within 12 to 72 hours after contact and may include skin changes, such as itching, redness, swelling and blisters.
Most injuries occur after falling, auto accident, being struck by an object, contact with flames or extremely hot substance, or sports. Wound repairs were the most common procedures reported by urgent care centers in 2012.
Urgent care doctors can provide minor burn, sprain and fracture treatments to patch up the wounds and help with pain management.
- Sprains: Sprains generally occur when the joint — usually the ankle or wrist — experiences an awkward twist, turn or roll. Everyday, close to 25,000 Americans incur a sprained ankle, according to reports.
- Symptoms may include limping, instability, swelling, redness, bruising, pain and/or tenderness.
- Minor fractures: A bone can break due to a sudden impact of a force greater than it can handle. The person may notice a snap or grinding of the bone. However, hairline fractures can occur during constant repetitive movement or overuse of a certain limb — usually the wrist.
- Symptoms may include immobility or difficulty supporting weight, pain, swelling, redness and possibly a deformity of the area.
- Minor burns: The most common injuries are burns. They occur when the skin comes in contact with an extremely hot surface, liquid, chemical or flame, or prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Symptoms that need treatment may include blistering, redness, intense pain, or if the burn continues to get worse.