An urgent care center is a facility that provides ambulatory care to patients. Services and facilities provided by an urgent care center distinguish it from other traditional emergency departments. (1)
Unlike a conventional emergency room, an urgent care center is a medical establishment that treats normal illnesses and injuries. It mostly serves the patient whose ailment cannot wait for the physician but is not severe enough for the emergency department. In comparison to ER, a patient does not have to wait for long and pay more in the urgent care center.
A retail clinic comes in the category of a walk-in clinic, which is staffed by a general physician, nurses, medical assistants, and physician assistants. Most of them do not provide the 24/7 services of a physician. 65% of urgent care centers are seen that provide physician services 24/7. Among those physicians, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and family medicine account for 7.6%, 30.1%, and 47.8% respectively.
Services provided by urgent care centers
This department delivers vaccines of seasonal flu as well as a state-specific vaccine in case of travelling.
- Less severe illnesses
Urgent care centers treat those illnesses that are not life-threatening. These centers treat physical conditions like vomiting, diarrhea, throat and ear infection, rashes, abdominal cramps, urinary tract infections, eye infections, breathing difficulties, cough, fever, and cold, etc. In these centers, an individual gets comprehensive quality treatment he would find in any hospital or private clinic.
- Physical injuries
Again, an urgent care center treats those physical injuries that are minor. 30% of staff members get training in emergency medicine so that they can treat physical injuries. Minor injuries treated by an urgent care center include strain, sprains, broken limbs, minor head wounds, cuts and abrasions, sting and bites, minor burns, scald, injuries to shudders, back, and neck.
- Physical fitness
An urgent care center acts as medical care as well as a physical wellness center. Many centers schedule appointments for patients who are physically disabled. These centers conduct physical fitness exercises for adults and kids.
- STD testing
This service is the most important service delivered by urgent care centers. Everyone is required to be tested for STDs. Urgent care centers remain open 24/7 and that makes it convenient for individuals to schedule visits to centers.
According to the urgent care association, 90 million people visit urgent care centers every year. The trend is increasing day by day. These centers provide remarkable advantages and some of these are as follows:
- The key benefit of these centers is the delivery of medical services even during non-working hours. It is known that no illness or injury tells the time of its happening. Late-night falls due to darkness happen very commonly. Any injury, in this case, can be easily treated by urgent care centers.
- Urgent care is less expensive than a primary doctor or emergency department in a hospital. One can get a less expensive yet quality treatment from an urgent care center.
- Waiting for the turn in private clinics becomes uneasy and frustrating. One does not need to wait or schedule an appointment in the urgent care center.
- An urgent care center may not treat life-threatening illnesses but can deal with conditions more than a common cold. These centers can deal with broken bones and burns.
Along with advantages, urgent care centers also have disadvantages. Some are as follows:
- These centers are unable to treat life-threatening diseases. One cannot take advantage of an urgent care center in case of serious injury.
- Another disadvantage is that one does not find the same doctor on every visit. In this scenario, the current doctor will not know the medical history of the patient.
- In addition, some patients cannot remind their previous medicines, which may lead to the repetition of previous medicine.
- Some centers do not serve insurance carriers. A patient needs to check whether the center will cover his visit through insurance or not.
Best urgent care centers (2)
- AFC Urgent care
American Family Care urgent care center has a precise price, higher ratings of customer satisfaction, services for all age groups, and online registration. This center also serves those patients without health insurance. It offers a discount for deserving patients. This is center is established in only 27 states. Prices of services vary according to the state. Its cost ranges from $96 to $240, in which it covers normal visits as well as burn care.
This center holds rank 2 for its extended hours, high patient ratings, accessibility, online Robo-chat element, and easy scheduling options. It delivers its services to insurance carriers as well. “Save my spot” option helps the patient to register himself online and wait at home till the appointment time. It welcomes walk-in patients but does not deliver virtual services. One can get on-site lab tests and an X-ray facility. It is established in 87 locations in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California.
- CVS MinuteClinic
The joint commission is an agency that certifies and evaluates healthcare programs and organizations in the US. MinuteClinic has gotten accreditation from the Joint Commission. One can easily search for the nearest center through the website of MinuteClinic. The working hours of this center vary according to the location. It is easy to select a time slot. A patient is required to enter his contact information. Above 1200 MinuteClinics have been established in 32 states.
- NextCare urgent care
It has an easy-to-use website, high patient ratings, and a wide range of medical services. It also offers a program for insurance carriers. More than 145 clinics are established in 11 states. X-ray machines and on-site lab services are available. It permits a patient to wait at home after checking in.
Urgent care Center near about
The trend among people going to urgent care centers is increasing day by day. This leads the urgent care centers to establish more clinics in different areas. For the patient, it is very easy to find one of the clinics just by visiting the website.