Since the first urgent care facilities appeared in the 1970s, their popularity has skyrocketed. Today, more than 10,000 centers are available across the country providing urgent medical care to patients in thousands of communities. Though an estimated three million patients visit a 24 hr urgent care facility every week in the U.S. and the revenue of such facilities totals $14 billion, they are still looking to expand their influence. It’s not because of greed or business. It’s a way to provide better care to patients in all kinds of facilities.
What is an Urgent Care Facility?
Urgent care centers provide medical service for conditions that are not life threatening or serious enough to warrant an emergency room visit, but that require timely attention. They are staffed by medical professional, including medical doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants who can write prescriptions and tend to urgent medical issues. Common conditions treated in urgent care facilities include:
- Wound care
- High blood pressure or palpitations
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Mild pneumonia
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Urinary tract infections
- Pregnancy tests
- Pediactric complaints
- Viral infections
- Bites and burns
- Blood sugar concerns
- Eye problems
- Minor fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Allergy care and treatment
Why Should We Use Them?
The purpose of 24 hr urgent care facilities is to provide an alternative to emergency rooms. Patients with non life threatening conditions who visit emergency rooms often have to wait for very long periods of time while patients with more serious complaints are treated. The patients with very serious complaints then have to share the attention of medical staff with patients whose conditions, while urgent, are not very serious.
On the other hand, patients with urgent medical needs often cannot schedule appointments with their private practitioners in time to take care of urgent needs. According to one study, almost half of all adult ER patients who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital only went to the emergency room because their physicians’ offices were closed. For those reasons, 24 hr urgent care is helpful both to the patients experiencing urgent symptoms and to patients who need immediate emergency room attention. Urgent cares reduce crowding of emergency rooms while getting patients the treatments they need.
Another benefit of 24 hr urgent care is concealed right in its name. After hours urgent care means that patients can receive immediate attention for their medical needs regardless of the time of day. Though emergency rooms are open 24 hours as well, they should be reserved for those in critical or serious condition. Doctors’ offices usually are only open during business hours, leaving 24 hr urgent care as an ideal option for those who need to seek immediate attention in the evenings or on the weekend.
24 hr urgent cares offer an essential service that should be taken advantage of. Next time you’re feeling buggy or have experienced a traumatic injury, visit an urgent care first. You’ll be glad you did. Check out this site for more.