Many people have a misconception of what an urgent care facility is. Because of this many people overlook it as an option for minor illnesses or injuries. However, an urgent care, or pediatric urgent care facility can be a better alternative to heading to the emergency room for cases that aren’t life threatening. Here is what you need to know about urgent care, and pediatric urgent care centers near you.
Urgent Care or Emergency Room?
A nearby urgent care center can be a good place to go if you’re in need of assistance. It can be more accessible than a standard physician’s office, and more convenient if your general practitioner is further away. While an emergency room can provide similar treatment options, you will likely face longer wait times, especially since many ER’s take in patients based on severity of issues. In addition, the cost of heading to the emergency room is much higher than if you were to receive treatment at an urgent care center. A good rule of thumb is if you’re life isn’t in danger, head to urgent care first.
What Does Urgent Care Treat?
When to go to urgent care centers is another good thing to know. Many clinics will offer treatments for a variety of issues, including:
- Fractures, and sprains that are not severe.
- Wounds and lacerations that require stitches but aren’t life threatening.
- Frequent bouts of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Any cold, or flu symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, or chills.
- A fever. (Although in children and infants you may wish to check and see if your particular clinic provides specifically pediatric urgent care.
- Any back pain or minor headaches that are frequent enough to warrant concern.
- Any animal bites that may need cleaning or stitches.
- Treatment for allergies and minor allergic reactions.
- X-rays, vaccinations, blood work, and any basic lab work.
- Any rashes or minor degree skin burns.
- Eye irritation, or foreign objects stuck in the eyes or nose.
- Ear or sinus pressure that causes pain.
- Mild asthma related issues
Different clinics will provide different things. Some centers will specialize in pediatric urgent care, or have staff on hand that provides that care, while others may not. Research the centers near you to find out what care they all provide, so that you can work out a plan before hand and prepare just in case.
If you still have any doubt or concerns about trusting an urgent care center with your medical issues, consider a few of these statistics.
- Many urgent care centers have wait times under 30 minutes, and most who seek treatment there are out in an hour. Some centers even allow you to book appointments online which can help reduce the wait time even more, allowing you to be seen as soon as you get in. However, if you don’t have time to book an appointment, you can still rest assured that you won’t be waiting for hours to see a provider.
- Seeking treatment at an urgent care facility tends to be less costly than heading the emergency room. You can go here to see a complete breakdown of all the expenses that come with both choices. Depending on what you need treatment for, urgent care tends to be much more affordable, especially if the issue can be treated outside of the ER.
- Many centers accept a variety of insurance providers. If you want to be certain, call ahead or check online. Additionally, you can check with your insurance provider to see how much costs they cover at urgent care.
Urgent care, and pediatric urgent care centers are a great resource if you, or your child needs medical attention. When it comes to minor injuries and illnesses, these clinics can have you feeling better in no time. Take it from someone who has previously worked as a transporter in an emergency room, patients can face hours of waiting if their needs aren’t life threatening. While we always hope for good health, it’s important to have a plan in place in case of injury or illness.