Urgent care centers offer you a go-between that fits between your regular doctor's office and the emergency room. However, it may not always be so obvious whether you should go to urgent care or to the emergency room. To give you a better idea of times when you want to go to urgent care, read on.
You are sick and the doctor can't fit you in
In some cases, you may be sick and would normally go to your regular doctor for it. However, you may have come down sick when your doctor is closed, such as over the weekend or after hours. Or, maybe you called your doctor to see if they can get you in, but they don't have any available appointments. In these types of situations, you can go to an urgent care center that offers you after-hours availability. Plus, urgent care centers will take you on a walk-in basis, and this means you won't have to worry about them not being able to fit you in. You really don't want to go to the emergency room for a basic sickness unless something serious is going on with it, such as difficulty breathing.
You have suffered a minor injury
If you have a minor injury or other minor condition, then there's no need for you to take up the time and attention of the emergency room staff who are there to deal with more life-threatening situations. If you aren't sure what would qualify as a minor injury or condition as opposed to a major one, minor injuries can include things like the following:
- Surface cuts that may need stitches
- Minor breaks or fractures
- Pulled muscles, sprains, and strains
- Vaccinations if you don't have a primary physician
- A sore throat
- A cough
- Minor burns
You need to see a doctor and you don't have one of your own
If you don't have a primary doctor and you require the services of a doctor, you can use urgent care. However, you should consider getting your own physician because this will allow you to form a medical relationship with the same doctor who will come to know you and help you with any medical situations and conditions you have that need regular monitoring. In the meantime, an urgent care doctor can help you by ordering labs, prescribing medications, referring you to specialists, and taking care of any medical issues you do have.
To learn more, contact an urgent care center.