Not everyone has a family doctor. In fact, only 67% of millennials have a primary care provider in the United States.
The good news is that there are alternatives out there. For one thing, you can always go to a walk-in clinic. No appointment is necessary and they’re usually more affordable than going to a general practitioner.
Or if you want, you visit an urgent care clinic.
What is urgent care? How do they work and when should you go to one? Find out by reading the rest of this post!
What Is Urgent Care?
Urgent care centers are same-day clinics that provide healthcare for non-emergency situations. For example, patients can go and seek treatment for a minor burn or a sprain.
Not only that but many offer lab services and vaccinations as well. What’s more is that some centers are open 24 hours so you can go whenever you need treatment.
For an example of an urgent care clinic, click here.
When to Go to Urgent Care
The big thing to remember is that urgent care is for minor injuries. For example, you can go in if you have ear pain, pink eye, a twisted ankle, or back pain.
They can also help if you have a minor respiratory infection like the flu or pneumonia.
Signs That You Need to Go to the Emergency Room Instead
Certain symptoms, however, will require advanced treatment that’s not available at an urgent care facility. Here are a few red flags that you should stop what you’re doing and head to the emergency room right away.
Seek emergency care right away if you’re having a hard time breathing. It may be an allergic reaction or it may be a sign of a cardiovascular issue such as a heart attack.
Whatever it is, it’s crucial that you receive treatment as soon as possible.
Chest pain can signal a heart attack, especially if it’s on the left side. Given that, you want to go to the emergency right away. The quicker you receive treatment, the better the outcomes.
Sudden Paralysis and Trouble Speaking
A stroke can cause sudden paralysis, confusion, trouble speaking, among other things. Call 911 right away if you’re experiencing such symptoms.
The emergency room will have all the equipment necessary to treat a stroke.
Have a deep wound that won’t stop bleeding? Or perhaps you’ve broken a major bone? If so, you’ll want to head over to the emergency room.
Even if you feel okay now, the situation can always worsen and you don’t want to wait until then to seek treatment.
Fever and Abdominal Pain
Fever with severe abdominal pain can indicate various issues from appendicitis to pancreatitis, all of which require emergency care. Left untreated, they can easily lead to complications.
Going to an Urgent Care Clinic
Hopefully, that answers the question, “what is urgent care?” The bottom line is that they’re a great alternative for minor medical issues.
Did you find this post helpful? For more health-related articles like this, why not check out the rest of our site?