Many of us are lucky enough to be able to have access to different types of healthcare alternatives. From personal doctors to local pharmacies to emergency rooms to urgent care clinics. This latest type of healtcare provider — the urgent care center — is a walk-in clinic that treats minor medical conditions like colds, fever, stomach pain, sore throats, minor cuts, and lacerations. These clinics offer a variety of benefits that have led to enormous growth in the healthcare industry.

Urgent care centers are fitting if you need attention for minor health emergencies or advanced diagnostic and laboratory services. They offer more convenience than emergency centers and are widely accessible. Here is what you should know before visiting one.

Online Check-in

One of the core urgent care benefits is that the centers are walk-in clinics, which means that you don’t need to have an appointment to seek medical treatment. For this reason, your wait time varies depending on how many people came before you. The benchmarking report in 2016 by the Urgent Care Association of America showed that 92% of urgent care centers registered wait times of 30 minutes or less in 2015.

Some of the urgent medical care clinics have the option of online check-in on their websites to allow for providing initial details of yourself to help them prepare for your arrival. This reserves your spot at a particular time slot, therefore, reducing the amount of time you spend when you get there.

Identifying the Right Clinic for Your Needs

Waiting until you need to get immediate treatment to find an urgent care clinic is firmly discouraged. Choosing the best urgent care clinic that accepts your medical insurance is important because it helps ease your out-of-pocket transactions.

It is important to consider that some 24-hour walk-in clinics may have specialties, which could be to your benefit. For instance, if you have kids, you could select a pediatric urgent clinic that gives comprehensive, specialized pediatric care. The location of the clinic should also be a point of relevance as it is more practical to pick one closest to you for when you require fast medical treatment so you can enjoy the best of the urgent care benefits.

Determine What to Bring with You

An urgent care service center doesn’t have your extensive medical records on file as opposed to a regular doctor’s office. To get the best urgent care services, you will be required to bring the necessary documents with you to the clinic. This includes your recent health insurance details and any prescription medicine you may be taking.

If you are taking a minor to the clinic, you would be required to prove that you are their legal guardian and a picture ID to verify your identity. One of the major urgent care benefits is the availability of comprehensive care where you can obtain advantages of family medicine giving you an all-round cover whenever you or your family need immediate care.

You Might Be Treated by a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are highly competent and are trained within the same lines as the lead physicians. They are licensed to do everything from diagnosis to prescription without needing to consult a doctor. There are many of them staffed at the urgent care clinics to provide quick and efficient urgent medical care.

They are generally very empathetic and offer a personal touch to help look into all possible urgent medical needs and often recommend following up with your regular doctor especially in case of pre-existing conditions.

Urgent care clinics aim at providing medical treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. They play a vital role in ensuring you stay in perfect health for a smooth comfortable life. Their popularity has been largely credited to the obvious urgent care benefits they offer and help sustain a practical and efficient health system in the United States.