There is a difference between going to an emergency room, a doctor’s clinic and urgent care. This article will focus on the essential things you need to know before you book an urgent care appointment.
What is urgent care?
When you hear the phrase “urgent care”, it would be easy to confuse the term with “emergency room care” because both of the phrases would imply that there would be a medical need that would have to be addressed right away. However, there would be a distinction between the two.
Urgent care is not the same as emergency room care. However, many people automatically go to the emergency room thinking that they do not have any other option. An urgent care clinic can provide care after-hours when the doctor’s clinic is not open. It would provide care and treatment for minor sicknesses and injuries to patients who would need to get treatment during hours outside of the normal clinic schedule of their doctors.
What is the difference?
The main difference would be that when you have an urgent care appointment, there is a chance that the healthcare professional who treats you might not be a doctor. Although there would be some doctors at an urgent care center, it is not a guarantee that you will get to see a doctor.
However, this is not a problem. Most of the cases that are handled during an urgent care appointment would be medical problems that indeed need to be addressed right away but then are not considered to be emergencies. If the medical professional at the urgent care clinic would sense that you would need more treatment, they would usually recommend that you schedule an appointment with your doctor for further treatment.
What kind of treatment can urgent care give?
Abdominal pain, dehydration, cuts that may need to be stitched up and other minor medical crises can be treated by urgent care. They would also be able to provide any lab tests that you need to have done as well as vaccinations. These clinics would be very accessible and convenient to visit. However, if you do have a life-threatening condition, it would be wiser for you to go into an emergency room for treatment instead of an urgent care clinic.
One of the most convenient things about going for an urgent care appointment would be that you can just walk in. There will be no need to set an appointment, although it would be possible to schedule one ahead of time if you want to be seen right away. It could take up to 20 minutes to an hour before you get to see a healthcare provider without an appointment.
If you feel that you would need urgent care, you can check online to find the closest and most accessible center for you. Your preferred choice might be your doctor, but then in cases when you can’t get to them, knowing where to find an urgent care center would be the next best thing.