It’s hard to avoid getting sick the winter – it’s flu season, it’s often bitterly cold out, and you find yourself in close quarters with other people, particularly during the holiday season. But it’s not always so easy to head to your general care practitioner when you find yourself sick. In fact, for some people, taking the day off of work to schedule a doctor’s appointment just isn’t within the realm of possibility. When to go to urgent care? When you’re sick, because most urgent cares are open longer hours than traditional doctors offices, if not around the clock.
Urgent care centers provide the same services that doctors offices do, often at the same high quality of care. Urgent care facilities also offer much more flexible wait times (60% are estimated to have a typical wait time of only fifteen minutes). Going to a family urgent care can also be more cost effective than going to the emergency room or a traditional doctors office, particularly for patients who are uninsured. At a hospital, there are fees upon fees, from room cost to different types of diagnostic test. While urgent care isn’t necessarily free, it offers more direct care at a fraction of the cost.
If you ask yourself when to go to urgent care or, better, what to go to urgent care for, consider any number of common ailments. Dizziness, for example, is one of the most common complaints doctors here, and it’s something that will effect over half the population at some point in their lives. If you’re experiencing dizziness and aren’t sure of the cause, an urgent care center can help provide care or decide if you are in need of more serious medical attention at a hospital. When to go to urgent care? Whenever something feels wrong, really. Urgent care is appropriate for a number of different conditions, ranging from the common cold (and it really is common – over one billion Americans experience the common cold every year) to sprained ankles (which 25,000 Americans sustain every single day). Many urgent care centers even provide fracture care.
Urgent care centers are becoming more and more popular – around 3 million people go to an urgent care facility every single week. And there’s good reason for that too – it’s estimated that over half of emergency room patients could have actually been treated in an urgent care center, saving themselves time and money in the process. So when to go to urgent care? When you need it most.