Urgent cares have gained in popularity over the last decade. They provide a place where those who are sick or injured to be seen by a nurse or physician's assistant when their primary treater cannot see them. Their primary treater may be booked solid or it may be the weekend. The reason these centers are becoming so popular is that there are many benefits to them. Here are a few of the benefits of using urgent care over the emergency room for non life-threatening situations:
They Are Cheaper
One of the biggest benefits to using the urgent care over the emergency room for non life-threatening situations is that it is often cheaper. If you have been to the emergency room anytime lately, you likely know that these bills can add up quickly. And unfortunately, most insurance companies do not pay these bills in full, leaving you to pay a percentage of the total. Many urgent care centers take insurance and bill the same amount as a regular doctor visit. And those that don't take your insurance often have very affordable rates, making this a cheaper alternative to emergency rooms.
You Can Be Seen Faster
Many emergency rooms are extremely busy. If your illness or injury is not severe, you will get pushed to the back of the waiting list. Those with severe injuries or illnesses get seen. You can be sitting in an emergency room for hours. If you want to be seen quickly, get the medications or treatment you need and be on your way, an urgent care center is the better option for you. Most centers can see you fairly quickly, making it more convenient.
Frees Space in the Emergency Room
The last benefit to using the urgent care over the emergency room for non life-threatening situations is that it frees up space and resources in the emergency room. Many emergency rooms have a limited amount of space and doctors. Those who go to the emergency room when it is not truly an emergency are taking valuable resources away from someone who may be facing a life or death medical condition. If your symptoms don't warrant a visit to the emergency room, the urgent care is a better option for all involved parties.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening situation, have a broken bone or need to be otherwise seen be a doctor immediately, head to the emergency room or call for an ambulance right away. However, if you have a strain, a sore throat, an ear infection or other routine illnesses and injuries, an urgent care may be the better choice for you.