Advanced urgent care

It never feels good to be under the weather, but it can feel even worse when you’re unclear about your healthcare options and aren’t sure where to turn or who to go to for the appropriate care. Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired about this? Ironically, though the United States healthcare system has more available care options now than ever, it can still be difficult for patients to know when and where to seek the right medical treatment for their illness or injury. Urgent care services however, aim to clear up this confusion by filling the gap between primary care physician offices and hospital emergency departments.

What is urgent care?

Urgent care clinics can be thought of a hybrids between doctors offices and hospital emergency rooms. While walk ins are welcome as is the same with hospital emergency rooms and urgent care locations are often staffed with nurse practitioners and doctors who at once worked in a primary care practice. The difference is in the level and kind of healthcare provided. Urgent medical care is meant to treat an illness or injury that needs medical attention right away but isn’t serious enough to require emergency medical treatment.

When to go to an urgent care center

Say for example, that you were so busy whooping it up on Friday night after work that you didn’t realize you were actually coming down with a nasty cold or possibly even the flu. You wake up Saturday afternoon — or evening — feeling as though you’ve been hit my a Mack truck, run over by a bulldozer, and sat on by an elephant. Ouch. What’s worse, is that when you muster the strength to call your primary care physician, they either are already closed for the day or can’t see you for another week. In this case and others similar to it, the best thing to do would be go to an urgent care facility.

What kind of conditions, injuries, and illnesses warrant urgent medical care?

In addition to colds and flus, patients also go to urgent medical care centers to receive treatment for minor to moderate burns, cuts, and scrapes, upper respiratory infections, urinary tract or bladder infections, sprains, strains, stomach illnesses, and many broken bones can be treated at urgent medical care centers as well, most of which have x ray machines. A large number of urgent medical care centers even have dispensaries on site which allow patients to leave the facility with their prescription medication in hand, no trip to the pharmacy needed!

Ain’t nothing like the real thing

It’s important to understand that urgent medical care centers are not designed to replace your primary care doctor or a hospital emergency room. Long term medical care, specialist referrals, and prescription refills are all tasks performed by your primary care doctor and not an urgent medical clinic. Similarly, true medical emergencies such as heart attacks or suspicion of a heart attack, chest pain, numbness, sudden loss of vision, and debilitating pain are all conditions that should always be treated at hospital emergency rooms.

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