An urgent care clinic is a healthcare facility that provides same-day, immediate care for time-sensitive illnesses, injuries, and other medical issues. They are a very specific type of healthcare center that differs from a primary care office and an emergency room. Urgent care clinics stand alone as their own healthcare facility, so it’s important to understand their exact purpose when deciding where you should be treated.
If you have a more long-term ailment that is not time-sensitive, you should visit your primary care doctor. This is your best bet and should be the first place you seek treatment for non-dire emergencies. However your primary care physician isn’t always available, or you may be experiencing pain or another ailment outside of your doctor’s office hours. This is where an urgent care clinic can benefit you.
If you require timely medical attention, but your condition is not serious enough for an emergency room visit, urgent care is where you should be seen. Urgent care clinics specialize in ailments like the common cold or flu, ear infections, sprains and strains, broken bones, urinary tract infections, and minor to moderate cuts, bruises, and scrapes.
However, if your condition is more serious or time-sensitive than the ailments listed above, you need the assistance of an emergency room. If you’re unsure where you should seek treatment, call your local urgent care and describe your situation. They’ll be able to lead you in the right direction.