When Was the Last Time You Needed to Make a Late Night Trip to See a Doctor?
The results were on a card in an envelope, and even when you held it up to the light you could not see them.
The gender of your third child would remain a secret. At least for now.
You did not find out the gender of your first two children and on this third pregnancy you had been slightly tempted, but the combination card and envelope prevented you from seeing whether you would have a third son in a few months, or if, for the first time ever, you would be buying pink baby items for your first daughter. Because your youngest son had RSV your husband was not at this appointment where the ultrasound revealed the gender. As instructed, the technician gave you the envelope, but did not reveal any information. You had been happy to find out the gender of your first two children when they were born, but as you prepared to become parents of a third child, you knew that having a heads up might be helpful.
In fact, you were beginning to realize that the days of preplanned appointments for both yourself and your children might become a think of the past. Recently, you had taken both of your young sons into a walk in family health clinic when they became ill over the weekend and you simply felt that you could not wait to call on Monday for an appointment. Family care physicians are an excellent resource for parents of young children, but when one of those children gets sick late at night or on the weekend a walk in health clinic is often more convenient.
Family Care Physicians Provide Excellent Care, But Have Limited Appointment Times
Pregnancy check ups, well baby visits, and school physicals are all appointments that can be scheduled ahead of time with family care physicians. When, however, you have an unexpected health need late at night or on a weekend you cannot always wait until the family care physicians are available. Instead, you need to find a way to see a doctor sooner rather than later, sometimes you need to see someone immediately. For those times when you need to get immediate medical attention, an after hours urgent care can be a perfect solution.
There was a time when a hospital emergency room was the answer for many of life’s health care needs. The expense of these hospital visits, however, can be prohibitive. As a result, many families who cannot wait until a morning appointment and do not want to pay the high price of a hospital emergency room instead visit one of the many convenient located urgent care facilities.
Consider some of these facts and figures about why you might decide to visit a convenient walk in clinic instead of the other health care options:
- Reports from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey indicate that the average ER visitor pays total costs of $1,318 and a mean cost of $615. Walk in clinics, on the other hand are less expensive. In fact, some of the most common lab fees and test fees are listed on a clinic’s website or on the premises so that patients understand exactly what costs they will be incurring.
- Between the years 2003 and 2009, the mean wait time in emergency rooms around the country went up by as much as 25%, from 46.5 minutes to 58.1 minutes. At a walk in clinic, however, the wait time is typically much shorter. Without the patients who really do need the care of an emergency room staff, health care clinics can typically be seen in the order in which they arrive. At some locations, a large sign by the interstate advertises how short the wait times are.
- According to current data, the U.S. needs about 52,000 more primary care physicians by the year 2025 to meet the nation’s healthcare needs. In this changing time of more and more people getting access to health care it is understandable that the medical community needs to prepare for more patients seeking well visits and physicals in an attempt to avoid serious health conditions later in life.
Health care choices affect time, budget, and treatment.