While many individuals have access to an emergency room, most prefer to avoid the ER unless it is a truly life-threatening condition. Emergency rooms tend to have lengthy wait times and the cost, even with insurance, can be high. Fortunately, many urgent care centers are available for individuals and families to use when a they fall ill and require doctors after hours.
No Need for an Appointment
Most urgent care centers are open daily. In fact, many urgent care centers are even open on holidays and weekends. This means that an urgent care center is the perfect place to bring a person who becomes sick during times of the day when most doctor offices have closed. Many doctor’s offices schedule appointments a few days or even a few weeks in advance, which makes it difficult for individuals to be seen at the last minute. With urgent care clinics, individuals can find doctors after hours, any day of the week, and receive immediate treatment.
In order to be sure of the urgent care clinics exact schedule, it is best to check the urgent care center’s website to find a local number. Many doctors are on call at urgent care centers, which means the doctor can provide individuals with information on whether to bring the themselves to the emergency room immediately or whether to wait until the morning. An on-call doctor can also answer important questions, offer at-home treatment advice and even call in prescriptions if the patient needs a prescription refill for something urgent.
Consultation Over the Phone or Online
While many patients turn to the Internet for treatment advice, calling an on-call doctor at an urgent care clinic or a regular private practice is preferable since the doctor will be able to ask specific questions and give the patient a well-rounded, accurate answer about whether or not it is time to seek medical treatment.
For example, a professional medical doctor who speaks with a patient on the phone can ask “How does it feel when you poke your ribs?” or “How long has your fever been this high?” They can also ask about the patient’s past medical history, such as whether there is a history of cancer, diabetes, lung problems or asthma in the patient’s family. While seeking information online can be beneficial for general problems, in an urgent care situation it is very important to speak with an actual doctor who is prepared to administer advice.
Patients should remember to explain their symptoms and personal problems as thoroughly as possible so the doctor can give a well rounded opinion. It is important not to leave out medical history information or current prescription usage in order to get a thorough and proper evaluation. Since some medications or conditions can worsen when interacting with other drugs, patients should be succinct and honest when explaining what medications they have currently taken.
Urgent care centers can provide patients with quality care in order to serve those who have medical issues during times of the day when their medical provider is out of the office or the emergency room is full.