Illnesses and injuries rarely wait for business hours to strike. When medical problems occur outside of normal business hours, it’s often difficult to decide whether to wait for care, head for the ER, or take advantage of after hours care. Before making a decision, consider these five important reasons to choose a Pearland urgent care clinic offering care after hours.
Reason #1 – Difficulty Accessing a Primary Care Physician
Unfortunately, many patients have a difficult time accessing a primary care physician today, making an urgent care clinic an excellent option. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, many individuals live in areas that have a primary care physician shortage. This shortage continues to get worse, making it more difficult for patients to receive essential care. Individuals who have primary care physicians often find it difficult to get a next-day appointment, so heading to an urgent care facility providing after hours service makes sense.
Reason #2 – Higher Levels of Care Than PCPs
Urgent care facilities also offer higher levels of care than Personal Care Physicians (PCPs). Most PCPs must send patients to imaging centers for x-rays, while most urgent care clinics have a radiology department in-house. Our clinics providing urgent, after hours service also have their own labs, making it possible to take care of lab tests on site.
Reason #3 – A Cheaper Option than the ER
After hours care also provides a cheaper option than the emergency room, whether patients have insurance or not. Many insurance companies do not even charge a co-pay for using an urgent care center, while others will only require a small co-pay. In contrast, heading to the ER could cost insured individuals hundreds or thousands of dollars before the insurance coverage kicks in. Even for uninsured individuals, the cost of visiting an urgent care clinic is significantly cheaper than having the same care provided in an emergency room.
Reason #4 – Wait Times are Significantly Shorter Than ER Wait Times
One of the best reasons to choose an urgent care facility offering care after hours is the shortened wait time. Emergency rooms are well-known for long wait times, especially for medical issues that are not emergencies. When patients choose the urgent care setting, we work to ensure that patients are treated within an hour.
Reason #5 – Prevent Children from Seeing Seriously Ill Individuals
When a child is involved, choosing an urgent care setting over the emergency room prevents kids from seeing seriously ill individuals. Seeing seriously ill individuals can be traumatic for children, so it’s best to keep them out of the emergency room whenever possible.
Urgent care facilities offer treatment for non-life-threatening allergic reactions, non-severe asthma attacks, the flu, sprains, minor cuts, minor burns, vomiting, and broken bones. However, according to WebMD, individuals with loss of consciousness, chest pains, problems breathing, head trauma, stroke symptoms, or severe bleeding should call 911 or go to the emergency room.