Urgent care clinics continue to pop up around the U.S., which is leading some people to wonder what type of services they offer and when it makes sense to visit one. You may be surprised to learn how many ailments urgent care centers can treat. Here are five common services they provide.
1. Cold and flu treatment
Urgent care centers provide treatment for a number of illnesses, including the common cold and flu. If you have symptoms of a cold or the flu, you can walk into an urgent care clinic and get a diagnosis and treatment plan from a healthcare professional. Whether you have a bothersome cough, sore throat, earache or fever, an urgent care provider can help get you on your way to feeling better.
Urgent cares also provide flu vaccinations for adults. This is convenient for people who want the flu shot but are short on time, or for those who only have time available in the evenings or on weekends.
2. School and sports physicals
Most schools require children to get a physical before they can attend school. If you can't make it to the doctor's office before school starts, your child can get a physical at an urgent care. Urgent care clinics are staffed by doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can evaluate your child's health. If your child plays a sport, they will most likely need a sports physical and forms completed, which they can also get at an urgent care center.
3. Treatment for sprains and minor fractures
Urgent care centers are equipped to treat sprains, strains and minor fractures. Whether your injury was caused by a sport, overuse or a sudden awkward movement, urgent care providers can help. Many urgent cares, such as Immediate Clinic, offer onsite X-ray services. You can receive a diagnosis, get care and talk with a medical professional about treatment options.
4. Stitches for minor cuts
If you get a minor cut or laceration that needs stitches, you can typically be treated at an urgent care. However, if the cut is bleeding profusely and looks extremely deep, you may need to visit an emergency room. Call your local urgent care if you’re unsure where to go.
5. Treatment of minor burns
Many people think they need to go to the emergency room when they get burned, but that's not necessarily the case. If the burn is minor (first degree) and the pain is tolerable, you can easily have it treated at urgent care. Urgent care staff will clean the burn, treat it and provide instructions for caring for the burn as it heals.
However, if you experience a severe burn (second or third degree), or the pain from a burn is causing you to lose consciousness, you should go to the emergency room.
The convenience of urgent care
With 85% of urgent care centers open every day of the week, they can be a convenient option for many minor illnesses and injuries. Immediate Clinics are open from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week, including holidays. Learn more about what we treat.