Urgent Care Facilities Offer Convenient Walk-in Health Care
When your doctor’s office is closed urgent care facilities may be the answer.
Specializing in the treatment of minor medical conditions, urgent care facilities offer convenient, walk-in service without an appointment. They typically offer evening and weekend hours for the added convenience of those who can’t get away from work during the day.
They often have on-site laboratory and diagnostic X-ray services.
Urgent care centers typically take care of minor, non-emergency medical problems, such as colds, flu symptoms, sore throats, coughs, fever, non-critical cuts that may require stitches, ear infections, minor burns, nausea and vomiting and minor fractures.
Your wait for treatment at an urgent care facility will usually be shorter than at an emergency room. At an emergency room, patients with minor or less serve problems must wait until patients with serious conditions have been treated.
However, wait times vary at urgent care facilities based on the number of people walking in for care at any given time. In general, treatment is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Urgent care facilities do not provide emergency medical care. Patients with serious, life-threatening symptoms and conditions should call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room for immediate treatment. Such conditions include chest pain, sudden blurred vision, severe abdominal pain, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, seizures, severe burns, vomiting or coughing up blood, sudden severe headache, numbness in the face, arm or leg, and deep cuts or bleeding that will not stop.
After treatment at an urgent care facility, you will be given instructions for follow-up care. You can ask the urgent care facility to forward a record of your treatment to your primary care physician, so he or she can provide the follow-up care.
Generally, urgent care facilities accept most health plans and accept cash, personal checks and major credit cards for payment.