Issues Better Handled At Urgent Care Instead Of The ER
Years ago, if you needed prompt medical care for anything, you would go to the emergency room. That has changed. Emergency rooms do still offer prompt care for most ailments, but they are no longer the only option. There are now urgent care centers where you can seek care for a lot of the ailments emergency rooms used to handle. You still want to go to the ER for really major things like possible heart attacks or strokes, but you can get care for the following ailments at urgent care.
Cuts and Wounds
Deep cuts often need stitches. Getting stitches is not a huge medical procedure, but you do need to get stitches in a timely manner for them to be effective. Emergency rooms often have long wait times for a procedure that can be done so quickly. But if you go to urgent care for your stitches, you can generally get treatment within minutes. Most urgent care centers will tell you to come back in a couple of weeks to have the stitches removed — or they may have you go to your primary care doctor for this follow-up care.
Major head injuries are definitely an emergency. But if you hit your head and have less serious symptoms, such as headache or foggy vision, then you can head to the urgent care center. They can do basic tests such as an MRI and pupil dilation assessment to make sure your head injury is not too serious. They'll also give you aftercare instructions to make sure you heal from your concussion properly.
Common Cold and Flu Symptoms
The common cold and the flu do not always require professional medical care. However, if your symptoms get to be a bit much to care for at home, you can head to urgent care. They can administer treatments such as z-packs and antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections that may be making your condition worse. They can also do testing to check whether you have the flu, a cold, or some other respiratory illness. Knowing what, exactly, you have will sometimes make it easier to choose the right treatments.
The emergency room no longer needs to be your go-to or all prompt medical care needs. For faster care, and often less-expensive care, you can head to your local urgent care center. Most urgent care centers employ doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician's assistants to handle the issues above, and more.