During hours when regular doctor’s offices are closed, finding out where to seek necessary medical treatment for injuries and illnesses can be a difficult thing indeed. For many people, the emergency room can easily seem to be the only place to turn. However, seeking treatment for a relatively minor medical concern from an emergency room can be less than ideal for a number of different reasons.
For one thing, emergency room visits tends to be quite expensive, often even astronomically so. When the average person visits the emergency room, they are likely to rack up more than $1,000 in medical debt for even a visit for a relatively minor concern. In some cases, emergency room bills, even when adjusted by insurance companies, can be quite insurmountable for the typical person and can require a great period of time to fully pay them off, something that is not always possible.
In addition to this, going to the emergency is often an all day – or all night, as the case might be – experience. While you should absolutely go to your local emergency room in the event of a real medical emergency, those who go in for much lesser medical problems often find themselves waiting for at least an hour before even being seen by a nurse. The average visit in the emergency room will take multiple hours before the patient is able to be sent on their way, especially on particularly busy nights when a limited number of doctors and medical professionals have a huge caseload to take on and many patents to divide themselves between.
So what’s the alternative during times of the day when the typical doctor’s office will be closed? Where do you go to seek medical care on the weekends? For most people here in the United States, the answer lies in urgent care centers. Fortunately, urgent care centers have become more popular than ever before, seeing as many as three million patients over the course of just one week and employing as many as 20,000 doctors and medical professionals, a number that is only likely to continue to grow in the years that are to come. There are even more than 7,000 urgent care centers located all throughout the country, a number that has climbed significantly over the course of the past few years.
Of course, urgent care centers are an ideal alternative to the typical doctor’s office due to the fact that the vast majority of them – up to 85%, to be more exact – are open each and every single day of the week, and sometimes even on major holidays when many a doctor’s office will be closed for business all day long. Urgent care locations are also ideal for the fact that their wait times are greatly reduced in comparison to emergency rooms, with more than 90% of all urgent care clinics boasting an average wait time of just a mere half of an hour. And more than half of urgent care locations have found ways to reduce their average wait time down to a mere 15 minutes.
And urgent care locations all throughout the country can treat a wider variety of medical conditions and concerns that many people might realize. For instance, as many as 80% of all urgent care locations are so advanced as to be able to provide urgent care treatment and diagnosis for fractures, something that many would think you’d have to go to a hospital to get. And the same is true for providing IV fluids, as up to 70% of all urgent care locations are able to do just that.
Of course, much more minor concerns are able to be treated at urgent care locations as well. The common cold, for instance, impacts up to one billion people over the course of just one year, and the flu can contaminate up to one fifth of the total population here in the United States alone. Many an urgent care center will see cases of both during the fall and winter months and even often into the early spring months too.