Ever wonder where you should go for medical treatment? Many people turn to urgent care clinics when they need medical attention. With convenient hours, short wait times and the freedom to walk in without an appointment, urgent care centers are perfect for people who lead busy lives and need prompt treatment for a minor illness or injury. Some urgent cares, including Immediate Clinic, offer even more convenience, providing you the option to schedule a same-day appointment online, which moves you to the front of the line.
While urgent cares are convenient and offer highly skilled medical providers, there are some issues that require a higher level of care. And when you don't go to the right place for care, it will take longer to get the treatment you need – and you may end up spending more money and time.
Chronic or Complex Health Conditions Require Specialized Care
Urgent care shouldn't replace the role of your primary doctor or specialist for issues related to chronic health conditions, such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis, kidney disease and COPD. With some chronic conditions, there are more complex medical issues, and you should seek treatment from a doctor who knows your health history and is familiar with your condition.
People with multiple health conditions, and elderly individuals (who often have more medical complexities due to aging) generally require specialized care that is not offered in an urgent care setting.
Emergency Rooms are for Serious or Life-Threatening Injuries or Illnesses
If you have an injury or illness that is life-threatening, you should go to the emergency room or call 9-1-1. Emergency rooms are appropriate for situations that call for immediate medical attention, as they have the staff and equipment ready to provide life-saving treatment. These emergencies include:
● Deep cut or wound
● Head injuries and potential concussion
● Heart attack symptoms
● Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
● Pregnancy-related problems
● Stroke symptoms
● Seizures, convulsions or loss of consciousness
● Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing
● Severe abdominal pain
● Moderate to severe burns
● Serious injury to the head, neck or back
Many of these situations require treatments such as emergency surgery or IV fluids, which urgent care centers don't provide.
Fractures or Broken Bones: How Severe is It?
The severity of the break will determine whether you should go to urgent care or the emergency room. However, this can be hard for you to assess as you likely won't be able to see the break and you will be in pain, no matter how bad it is.
With some urgent care clinics providing X-rays, you will typically be able to go there for a minor fracture or broken bone. Your neighborhood Immediate Clinic offers on-site digital X-ray services to help confirm or rule out a fracture.
If the bone is protruding through your skin, always go to the ER. This is called a compound fracture and you will need more in-depth treatment to fix this break.
What Does Urgent Care Treatment Include?
Typically, urgent care clinics are suited for minor illnesses and injuries that aren't life-threatening, but still require care within 24-48 hours. Urgent cares are also ideal for conditions such as a young child’s ear infection – it may not need care right away, but when your little one is suffering, relieving his pain and discomfort is your priority.
These conditions include:
● Coughs, colds or viruses
● Earache or ear infection
● Sprains, strains and minor fractures
● Cuts that aren't bleeding heavily but may need stitches
● Fever or flu
● Urinary tract infections
● Vomiting or diarrhea
● Skin rashes or infections
● Moderate back pain
● Eye irritation and redness (caused by pink eye or allergies)
● Mild to moderate asthma
By knowing where you should seek treatment, you can take care of your condition more quickly and be on your way to a healthy life once again. If you think you need urgent care treatment, visit an Immediate Clinic location today or book an appointment online in advance.