When you move to a new place, it is important to identify the closest urgent care location. You never know when you might need to utilize an urgent healthcare service. In 2016, over one-fourth of U.S. patients reported they had visited an urgent care center in the last two years. Most come in for illnesses such as acute upper respiratory infection, acute sinusitis, acute pharyngitis, cough, and acute bronchitis.
Healthcare clinics are developing a hybrid between an emergency room and urgent healthcare service clinic. This eliminates the anxiety that comes with deciding whether you should choose to visit an urgent care center or an ER, but it is still good to understand what clinics are in the area so there is no guesswork in a time of need. Whatever the case might be, here’s what you should consider when visiting urgent care.
If you hang around a town long enough, you will discover the reputation places have. Talk to residents of the area about who they go to for walk in medical emergencies and healthcare. Dig up some research on the places and find out what physicians are available to see.
Hours of Operation
Memorize when clinics are open. Most are open after normal business hours late into the night, but look for ones that offer 24 hour care. Knowing a clinic is always open will allow you to rest easier knowing there is always access to medical care in an emergency.
Choose a clinic that is close by or within a reasonable distance. If it is a severe medical problem, you want to know there is easy access to get there quickly. If you have a child, they are less likely to be tolerant to discomfort and the quicker you can get them there the better off everyone involved will be.
How busy is the clinic? You want to know they are well-respected and many people visit for their good care, but you also don’t want them to be overbooked. If you have a medical problem and have to wait too long, it defeats the purpose of receiving immediate care.
Urgent care centers originated as a way for people to receive needed medical attention without the hassle of scheduling an appointment for several days later than when they first discovered their problem. Because of this, more and more urgent healthcare centers are transitioning into a hybrid of urgent care and emergency services. This makes the choice easier, but it is still important to consider the reputation and operation of the urgent care clinics your area has around town.