Urgent care goes over and above what a traditional doctor's office or walk-in clinic offers. An urgent care facility typically provides extended hours and services that are designed to assist with minor emergencies in addition to offering primary or generalized care. If you’re curious as to what services are offered at an urgent care facility, your provider will be able to provide you with the answers you need.
Urgent care gives you the benefit of not having to go to the emergency room and wait in long lines for an illness or injury that doesn't need emergency care. An urgent care facility also has additional resources that make it able to handle minor emergencies that would possibly require an emergency room visit over the option of your regular doctor's office.
An urgent care facility accepts patients who have injuries that are over and above what your primary doctor would cover. This includes:
While an urgent care facility can treat many severe illnesses and injuries, if you have any doubts as to where you should be going, always err on the side of caution and choose the emergency room. Your provider will recommend an emergency room if your injuries are outside their scope of service.
Urgent care is specifically for an injury or illness that's severe enough that immediate medical attention is needed, but the situation isn't life threatening. In cases of chest pain and discomfort, it's important to err on the side of caution. If you have a history of heart problems, you may need to choose the emergency room just to be on the safe side.
Open wounds and deep lacerations can easily be treated at an urgent care facility unless they’re deep enough to have damaged vital organs or caused substantial structural damage that can only be repaired through a surgical procedure. Urgent care facilities are capable of performing minor procedures that would be considered “outpatient” at a hospital. Anything over and above this level of care should be taken directly to an emergency room for immediate treatment.
If you have any questions concerning the severity of an injury, your provider will be able to advise you further.
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