Urgent Care: What Is It and When Should You Seek It?
Our body consists of many highly sophisticated systems, which are sometimes prone to dysfunction. Even the fittest person can face a sudden illness or accident needing immediate help. When such a situation presents itself before you or any of your loved ones, then the search for the required medical help can seem overwhelming especially due to the panic situation. This is where some special medical facilities called urgent care come into play.
What is Urgent Care?
Urgent care services are medical facilities which are most appropriate to deal with ailments or illnesses which are not life-threatening but still too urgent to wait for medical assistance till another day. It is basically ambulatory care that is dedicated to making medical aid available to the target patient wherever it is required. It saves you from wastage of precious time and anxiety involved during the transportation of the patient.
How are urgent care services different from Emergency rooms (ERs)?
It is very different from the traditional emergency rooms, both in its specialties and functioning and it is very crucial that you be able to decide which one will be right in a given situation. While it is recommended in cases where the injury or medical issue is not much critical, emergency rooms are most suitable for life-threatening health issues where the patient’s condition is very critical. The injuries or illnesses which require more advanced equipment or need cesarean operations are generally out of the scope of urgent care facilities and will need the involvement of an emergency room. Urgent care services, however, have their own benefits over emergency rooms. First of all, hospitals and emergency rooms have grown very busy these days and if you may need to wait for hours before your turn comes. Secondly, emergency rooms are very expensive and you may end up paying a large sum of money to small medical assistance. Another reason why you shouldn’t go to an emergency room for small complications is that there are many patients in a hospital who actually need immediate treatment and you will only be bothering the often too busy doctors with your trifles.
When do you need urgent care?
As has already been discussed above, these facilities should be called only for mild to moderate medical issues which are not much serious or fatal. Some of the situations where urgent care can provide the best solution are:
Mild accidents and falls
Cuts that are not much deeper and the bleeding is not much
Mild to moderate breathing difficulties due to asthma
Fever, common cold, or flu
Minor bone fractures in fingers or toes
Sprains and strains
Vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration
Infections pertaining to skin, eye, or ear
General facilities provided by care services
Open for extended hours
Professional doctors, physician, and medical staff assistance
X-ray and lab testing in general
Ambulances and other mobile medical facilities