Urgent Care, Emergency Room and Primary Physician What’s the Best Choice?

Urgent Care, Emergency Room and Primary Physician What’s the Best Choice?

Health and Fitness March 4, 2016

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In today’s world, nothing seems to be quite fast enough for most people. Instant communication, gratification, and responsiveness are crucial to people trying to make it through the everyday hustle and bustle. That’s part of the reason why urgent care clinics have become incredibly popular.

Although they’ve been around in the U.S. since the 1970s, it wasn’t until recent years that they’ve become prevalent across the nation. Walk in clinics are perfect for society today in many ways, but they still aren’t always the best option. When it comes to deciding among an urgent care center, hospital emergency room, or your primary care physician here are some things to keep in mind.

One of the greatest benefits to urgent care clinics is their availability. Approximately 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week and some even offer 24 hour service. If you’re dealing with an acute illness (cold, strep throat etc.) these locations can provide the same care as your doctor, but without the hassle of scheduling an appointment that fits into your hectic schedule.

You don’t have to worry about a lower standard of care either. Most facilities are now staffed with full-time physicians, so you’re getting the same professional care when it’s convenient for you.

For regular check-ups, discussing serious operations like surgery, and specific ailments that you think might be part of a greater aspect when it comes to your health are things you want to save for your primary care physician. AT the end of the day they are the ones that know you and your health history most intimately and can help you determine your best move.

Emergency rooms and hospital visits should really only be used for exactly that: emergencies. If you’re unsure about a potentially serious condition than it’s always a good idea to play it safe and go, but otherwise you’re really just causing longer wait times for people who really need the emergency services. Also, you’re exposing yourself to an environment with a plethora of germs that could otherwise be avoided at smaller, less busy urgent care centers.

At the end of the day it doesn’t take much more than common sense to determine what your best avenue of care and treatment should be. Take a minute to figure out what exactly you’re going in for and which location is best equipped to treat it. Unless it’s an emergency. In that case, don’t think just go straight to a hospital.