Knowing When to Get Urgent Medical Care

Knowing When to Get Urgent Medical Care

Health and Fitness August 23, 2019

When a victim needs prompt medical care, a nearby responsible party can and should look up nearby medical care facilities to take them to. This may mean conducting an online search such as “where is urgent care near me,” or something more specific such as “urgent care centers within 10 miles” or “pediatric urgent care near me.” If the seeker is looking for urgent care clinics at an odd time of day, such as 2:00 AM, they may specify that they need a 24 hour urgent care clinic, and find the address and name of each one in the area. After all, all American cities and most towns have at least a few walk in clinics, and some rural areas have them, too. But how much does urgent care cost? In general, the answer to “how much does urgent care cost” will vary, but often, it is cheaper than going to the ER for a minor medical case. But if a patient really has suffered a major injury or their life is in danger, it is time to take them to the emergency room.

Emergency Care Done Right

When does a patient need emergency care, instead of urgent care? Life-threatening conditions and major injuries call for the ER, such as if the patient has a broken arm or leg (or several). A patient may also need this level of care if they have a head or eye injury, or if they have suffered a bullet or stab wound (which may be bleeding heavily). Emergency care is definitely a must if a victim has difficulty breathing or major chest pain, since such conditions may soon turn life-threatening, if they aren’t already. And what about abdominal pain? Most cases of abdominal pain are actually harmless, but if the pain is severe, sudden, and/or long lasting, then it is time to visit emergency services. After all, the cause may be something serious such as internal bleeding or even cancer.

Emergency care can save a life, to be sure, but it should not be treated as a universal option for care. Emergency rooms may cost a lot of time and money to visit, and that is wildly impractical for a patient with only a minor health issue. But how much does urgent care cost? In most cases, much less than visiting the ER, at least.

It may be noted that some clinics today are a hybrid model; that is, they offer both emergency and urgent care services side by side. If it is not clear what level of care a victim needs, this is often the best choice, and the staff at a flexible clinic like these will know what to do.

Urgent Care Options

Ultimately, while “how much does urgent care cost?” varies, patients may rest assured that many urgent care centers today accept a wide variety of healthcare insurance policies. In fact, when a family moves to a new area, they can call local urgent care centers and check to see which of them accept their particular healthcare insurance policies. These clinics are common, and there is a good reason this field is known as “convenient care.” Over 2,000 urgent care clinics and walk in clinics can be found across the United States today, and they tend to be small and independent (though they sometimes form small local networks with one another). These clinics are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can treat a wide variety of health ailments, not to mention any pharmacists who may work there too. Many such clinics can be found in strip malls or in retailers.

A guest at these urgent care clinics may visit the pharmacy to get a prescription drug refill, or they may visit to get medicinal relief from the common cold or flu. Meanwhile, over 80% of these clinics offer treatment for bone fractures, and nearly all walk in clinics can handle ankle or wrist sprains. The nurses on staff can provide and apply lotion or ointment for skin rashes or sunburn, and they can also provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts (such as if a patient stepped on broken glass). Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit these urgent care centers.