You wake up with what feels a lot like strep throat. Your child falls while playing soccer and you’re worried she sprained her ankle. Your spouse needs an inhaler before leaving for vacation and can’t get an appointment with the doctor in time.
What do all of these situations have in common? They’re all treatable at a nearby urgent care center. Urgent care is a valuable resource for you and your loved ones, but you may not be taking full advantage of what urgent care has to offer.
Ready to learn more about the benefits of your local urgent care? Read on to discover just how valuable urgent care really is.
Treatment for Time-Sensitive Ailments
What exactly is urgent care? Urgent care centers are designed to treat time-sensitive medical conditions that aren’t a threat to your life. This includes things like:
- Minor injuries like strains and sprains
- Persistent pain
- Respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies
For example, urgent care is a great place to go if you’re dealing with mild but uncomfortable abdominal pain or suspect that you’ve caught a cold. At an urgent care center, you can get a variety of lab work done, get diagnoses for temporary illnesses like viruses, and get X-rays. People can and should visit urgent care when they need minor medical interventions now, rather than later.
Cutting Down the Wait Time
Patients across the nation are facing longer wait times to see their primary care physician and even longer wait times to see specialists. It takes 24% longer for new patients to start seeing a doctor now than it did in the early 2000s, making it especially difficult for anyone who has recently moved or changed health insurance plans to get immediate care.
When you’re scheduling a routine checkup, this wait time may not be much of a hassle. When you need quick relief for a moderate medical emergency, this wait time becomes untenable. With walk-in appointments available during operating hours, urgent care centers make it easier for families to get fast care in an otherwise over-burdened healthcare system.
Providing After-Hours Medical Care
Outside of the ER, most healthcare practitioners work Monday through Friday, ending their day between four and six in the evening. Unfortunately, medical emergencies don’t often contain themselves to the typical work week. When you need after-hours medical care for moderate family health emergencies, you can often turn to your local urgent care center.
Many of our urgent care centers are open as early as 8 AM and close as late as 8 PM on weekdays. Several locations also offer weekend hours, as well, including our Thomson, North Belair, and Augusta urgent care centers. With walk-in appointments available, urgent care is a great option when your primary care physician is unavailable.
Making Better Use of the ER
Most families are familiar with their local emergency room even if they aren’t familiar with urgent care. However, you may be heading for the ER when you could be going to urgent care. Whenever possible, it’s best to reserve ER trips for serious medical emergencies such as:
- Broken bones
- Severe head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Illnesses that are causing difficulty breathing
- Severe wounds
Emergency rooms are important resources for you and your loved ones, but they’re not always your best option. While it’s important to make sure your local urgent care center takes your insurance, you’ll often pay a higher copay to go to the ER than urgent care. You may also face longer wait times, especially if your reason for visiting isn’t considered severe or life-threatening.
Creating Accessible Medical Care
When it takes weeks to get an appointment with your primary care physician, it can feel like seeking medical attention is impossible. Paired with high inflation rates, this inaccessibility has led almost 40% of Americans to skip or delay necessary visits to the doctor. While urgent care centers can’t replace hospitals and emergency rooms, they can become a useful part of your preventative care routine.
For example, getting antibiotics to treat a UTI can stave off a potential kidney infection. Seeking medical advice for minor back pain can help prevent more debilitating strain on those key muscle groups. Ultimately, urgent care centers provide another outlet to keep track of and support family health.
Getting Short-Term Prescriptions
Some prescriptions are necessary for lifelong or long-term symptom management while others are only needed for the short-term. For example, a patient may need blood pressure medication for the long-term but something like an antibiotic can do its job in about a week. The doctors at your local urgent care can meet many medical needs by prescribing one-time or interim prescriptions.
Oftentimes, the right prescription can reduce discomfort or prevent worsening health outcomes as long as you start taking them early enough. Rather than powering through a case of COVID-19 or waiting for an allergic reaction to dissipate on its own, talk to your local urgent care doctor about possible solutions.
Completing Physicals and Medical Tests
Believe it or not, urgent care centers offer more than quick care for existing health issues. At MedNow Urgent Care, you can also schedule:
- Sports physicals
- Routine drug or alcohol tests for work
- Occupation-related examinations
- Pre-operative medical clearances including Complete Metabolic Panels
- Labs and x-rays for specialist care
For many families, urgent care professionals are just as important as the family doctor. We provide services that make life (and additional medical care) a little easier.
Visit MedNow Urgent Care
If your primary care physician can’t see you for weeks but you need immediate care for a non-emergency health issue, there is a viable option. Urgent care is a valuable asset for you and your loved ones and MedNow Urgent Care is here to help.
MedNow Urgent Care now offers eight locations across the Central Savannah River Area, including Augusta, Evans, Grovetown, Martinez, and more. We accept most major insurance providers and many of our locations are open seven days a week to ensure maximum accessibility. Contact your nearest location with any questions you may have or come in for a walk-in appointment.