When searching for care in the case of an emergency, your number one concern should be efficiency. However, there is more than just that that goes into choosing care, so you should have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on the spot later. Choosing correctly between the emergency room and urgent care in the heat of the moment can not only save you valuable time, it can also save from paying ridiculous bills after the incident. Read on for a list of facts you may not have known about urgent care facilities!
- Every year, almost 2 million people suffer from sports-related injuries, 12 million of whom are between the ages of 5 and 22. These injuries cause 20 million missed days of school annually, and cost $33 billion yearly. These injuries can be treated efficiently at a cheaper rate at an urgent care facility.
- Each week, about 3 million patients visit urgent cares across America.
- Urgent care has some of the best doctors, with 20,000 currently practicing at an urgent care clinic.
- Most urgent care centers are open seven days a week, in addition to the fact that over 2/3 of urgent care facilities open before 9 am during the week; you can get care virtually any time.
- Four out of every five centers provides fracture care.
- Urgent care provides more services than most realize. Though the most common diagnosis in 2012 was an upper respiratory infection, they treat the following symptoms as well: rashes, muscle strain, insect bites, dehydration, cuts, burns, and dizziness, to name a few. In fact, the second most common complaint in doctor's offices is dizziness, as it will occur to almost 70% of people in their lifetime. About 65% of people who are older than 60 often experience dizziness on daily basis as well.
- Urgent care also provides physicals, x rays, STD and HIV testing, vaccines, TB testing, and numerous other services.
It's important to note that urgent cares are not equipped to handle life threatening situations, like severe wounds or heart attacks -- in these cases, an emergency room is necessary. When was the last time you went to an urgent care? Let us know in the comments.