Top 4 Reasons to Check Out Urgent Care

Top 4 Reasons to Check Out Urgent Care

Health and Fitness January 8, 2018

Urgent care clinic

If you’re a college student, young adult starting out in a new city or town, or anyone who doesn’t have a regular primary physician, getting a bad cold, infection, or other medical ailment can be scary. Who do you go to? Emergency room visits can be costly and are often unnecessary for the ailment or injury being treated. Many people don’t consider an urgent care facility as an option, though most cities and towns have at least one urgent care facility available. There are numerous benefits to visiting an urgent care facility, including extended hours, faster wait times, and the lower cost of care compared to an emergency room. So lit’s talk about what urgent care technically is, the benefits of seeking out an urgent care center by you, and what urgent care centers can treat.

What Is Urgent Care?

Urgent care seeks to provide the population with quality healthcare at times where you may not be able to reach your doctor — or if you don’t have a primary care physician. Urgent care handles illnesses and injuries that are not life-threatening, but are still urgent enough to need medical attention fairly quickly.

For example, a high fever or a urinary tract infection are both urgent medical scenarios that should be handled within 24 hours, but shouldn’t necessitate an emergency room visit (unless it’s a baby, small child, or elderly person with the high fever).

There is generally always a physician present at all times at urgent care centers, ready to assess, diagnose, prescribe, and advise when you need medical care and most urgent care centers work with a variety of insurance plans.

What are the Benefits of Going to an Urgent Care Facility?


Most urgent care centers have extended hours at morning and night and may even be open during the weekends. Over 65% of urgent care centers open before 9:00 am during the week and a little over 45% doing so on Saturday and over 30% doing so on Sunday. Furthermore, over 90% of urgent care centers remain open until (or past) 7:00 pm and two out of five will keep their doors open until 9:00 pm or even later!

Lower Wait Times
Around 60% of all urgent care centers can boast a wait time of under 15 minutes before a patient sees a physician or mid-level provider. The Urgent Care Association of America reports that around 80% of all visits were an hour or less.

Lower Costs

Emergency room visits can be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, whereas a visit to urgent care may only require the standard copay on your insurance and still be much less costly than a trip to the ER.

Lower Emergency Room Numbers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that under half of all adult patients who visited the ER actually weren’t sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, but went to the ER because their doctors’ offices were closed. If they had simply gone to their local urgent care, those emergency rooms would have been significantly less crowded, wait times would have been shorter, and doctors likely would have had less pressure and stress put upon them.

What Can Urgent Care Centers Treat Me For?
Urgent care can treat you for a number of average illnesses and injuries, including high fevers, the flu, skin rashes or infections, UTI’s, minor broken bones or fractures, accidents and falls, vomiting, diarrhea, sprains, and bad sore throats or coughs. Around 80% of urgent care centers handle fracture care and 70% can do intravenous fluids if they’re needed. Urgent care centers may also be able to conduct X-rays and lab tests, as well as physicals and flu shots.

Do keep in mind however, that any condition that’s life-threatening (like signs of a heart attack or stroke) should immediately go to the emergency room.

Becoming familiar with your local urgent care facility can be a godsend when you
need medical attention but your doctor’s not in. Do yourself a favor and locate the one closest to you, so you know where to go, should you need it.