When those not so life-threatening medical emergencies come up, you might be tempted to wait until your doctor’s office is open or just go to the emergency room. This is not always the best option. Going to the ER could end up being very costly if you do not have insurance, and you could end up waiting for hours for something simple. Your alternative may be an area urgent care clinic.
Urgent care clinics are the perfect option for those with illnesses that are not threatening your life. Whether you or one of your children have a cold, an infection, allergic reaction, or a broken bone, an quick clinic should be your first stop. They will take lab tests or x-rays if necessary and you will likely get in fairly quickly and possibly leave with more in your wallet than if you went to an ER.
Urgent care clinics also help in areas that you would not expect. They will sometimes do travel immunizations. This is helpful for those with busy schedules who do not have time to get a doctor’s appointment during the day but are able to make it to a clinic in the evening. They may also offer physicals for school children or for those who have jobs that require them. Being able to go in the evening for these will be helpful for schedules.
Something to keep in mind as you consider going to an urgent care clinic is that they are probably not open all night. If you have a clinic in your area, you should make sure to know the hours so that you do not waste time going there when it is closed rather than straight to the ER or just waiting until your doctor is available. Another reason why you may need to go to the ER or wait for your doctor is if your child is younger than the age limit of the clinic. It is a good idea to call ahead if you have not researched a clinic to make sure that they will treat your child.
As you consider symptoms you or a loved one have, you should check out the website of an urgent care. It will likely give examples of non-life threatening problems. Some things that they list may seem like something that is life-threatening, but if they accept these cases, then you should take advantage of this. If you cannot find this information, then you may want to give them a call before you make your decision. A clinic should have a doctor or almost equivalent practitioner on staff at all times to answer any questions you might have.
It is, of course, important to realize that if someone cannot breathe, is not conscious, or seems to have trauma that this is an emergency, and someone should call 911. It is always better to be safe and feel over-protective than go a different route and wish you had not.