More and more Americans are choosing to go to an urgent care facility to get their illnesses and injuries treated than visiting the emergency room or going to their regular doctors, and for good reasons. The hours at a regular doctor's office can be inconvenient, and about 35% of emergency room visits could have been treated more quickly and less expensively (about 40% to 50% less so) at an urgent care facility.
It is not difficult to find urgent care. There are over 7,100 urgent care facilities in the U.S. and are often stand alone buildings or in plazas. The convenience and availability of urgent care makes it an appealing alternative to either the ER or typical doctor's office, but urgent care facilities can also treat many of the things people visit the emergency room or their doctor's office for.
Urgent care facilities can offer treatment for non life threatening injuries and illnesses as well as prescribe pain medication and antibiotics, and figure out a patient's needs all in a single visit. An urgent care facility can treat common ailments such as earache (about three quarters of children will get an ear infection before the age of five) or respiratory infection (which was the most common illness diagnosed at urgent care facilities in 2012). An urgent care facility can also treat other prevalent illnesses and issues such as anxiety, dizziness, nausea, and flu symptoms.
Besides common illnesses and routine and procedures, an urgent care facility can also offer treatment for more serious injuries, like cuts or burns, and many facilities have the resources to offer Xray services to check for bone fractures and sprains, so there is no need to choose between a regular doctor or emergency room. If it is not a life threatening illness, save time and money by going to an urgent care facility.