When you’re faced with a life-threatening medical emergency, you should head to the emergency room of your local hospital. Anything less can wait until you can make an appointment with your regular doctor. That was the case for years, and many people still hold to that. However, there will come a time when you have a medical emergency that isn’t life-threatening. These instances simply cannot wait for you to see your regular doctor, yet they don’t warrant a trip to the emergency room. In these situations, you need low cost urgent care.
Urgent care refers to a type of walk-in clinic that treats acute injuries and illnesses that require immediate attention yet aren’t emergencies. These clinics often have later hours than most doctors’ offices, although they generally aren’t open 24 hours. Low cost urgent care is a relatively new concept, one that not be familiar to everyone, but it has several benefits that cannot be denied. Here are just a few reasons to consider urgent care the next time you are faced with an injury or illness.
It’s Less Expensive than a Trip to the Emergency Room
One major benefit of urgent care over other emergency services is that it is generally less expensive. Not only do most urgent care clinics accept most types of health insurance, they usually have lower co-pays than what you would find in an emergency room. This is good news for those who tend to avoid medical treatment because they’re afraid of not being able to afford it.
Urgent Care Clinics Have Shorter Wait Times
Anybody who has ever had to go to the emergency room knows how long the wait time can be and wait times at an urgent care clinic are significantly shorter. There are situations that an urgent care clinic cannot handle, but the shorter wait for relatively mild fractures or acute illnesses sometimes makes urgent care the better option.
Urgent Care Clinics are Open Evenings, Weekends and Most Holidays
Urgent care clinics are usually open past a doctor’s office’s regular hours. Few are open 24 hours, but most are open well into the evening, and many are open on weekends and holidays. This makes urgent care an excellent option when you cannot see your primary care doctor during regular business hours.
There’s No Need to Schedule an Appointment
Urgent care clinics are walk-in clinics, meaning there is no need to schedule an appointment. Accidents and illnesses don’t happen on a convenient schedule, so it’s comforting to know that you can walk into an urgent care clinic and be seen in minutes.
It should be noted that while there are plenty of benefits to going to an urgent care clinic, there are still some things that call for an emergency room. If you are experiencing severe bleeding, difficulty breathing, severe chest pains or if someone you know is unconscious, go to an emergency room instead or call 911. For anything else, urgent care is almost always the better option due to its shorter wait times, smaller co-pays and general reliability. There is almost certainly an urgent care clinic near you, so ask your regular doctor for advice on where you can find one.