Urgent care centers and clinics are becoming an increasingly common alternative to treat minor and non-threatening illnesses and injuries. That's a good thing: they clear up much-needed space in emergency rooms and hospital wards so that anyone, in any condition, can find the medical help they need.
There are now some 20,000 physicians who practice medicine in urgent care, and 85% of centers are open every day of the week. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, around 3 million patients visit such clinics every week for a variety of needs.
In fact, your nearest walk in clinic likely offers more services than you might expect. While it's common to think of urgent care for sprains or sports injuries, here are a few lesser-known health services you'll be likely to find.
- STD Testing
Sexually transmitted diseases are very common, and routine testing is a must for people who are sexually active. Your nearest walk in clinic can provide safe, easy, and completely confidential testing and prevention for STDs like HIV, chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, and more.
- Workers Compensation Injuries
If you've been injured on the job, it's important to have your condition assessed immediately by a professional versed in workers comp to begin records and to advise you on your path forward to recovery.
- Minor fractures
While time can heal, if an injury is too serious or too painful, seeking medical attention is the best option. Urgent care clinics have the x-ray and staff members on site to be able to properly diagnose and treat any sprain, strains, or even fractured bones.
- Sports Physicals
Prior to joining a sports team, it is important to know where your health stands. Medical providers are able to evaluate and assess the safety of your physical condition, so that you can remain healthy while participating in physical activity.
Walk in clinics and urgent care centers are purposely designed to be fast, easy, and convenient. With extended hours and staff, you'll be sure to find the medical treatment you need, no matter your state of health.