When An Immediate Care Center Is Needed

If someone requires medical attention, there are a few different options; a visit to their medical doctor, a visit to the local hospital, or a walk-in medical facility. Determining when an immediate care center is needed can save time and money when it comes to time spent in an emergency room and co-pays or out of pocket expenses to the hospital without an admission.

Urgent care set-ups are meant to treat non life threatening medical issues. These can be treating cuts and bruises, sutures, and even fractured limbs and school or work physical exams. Because emergency rooms are often overcrowded with extremely long wait times, walk-in centers provide an alternative place to seek treatment in less than half the time.

Most walk-in centers are satellite branches of major hospitals, although there are some that are independently owned. When a patient needs medical attention the decision to choose a walk in center over a hospital will be determined by a few things: Is the injury life threatening? Are the symptoms contagious? How long have the symptoms been present?

Many individuals will visit a walk-in center to seek treatment for prolonged colds and/or fevers, sprains and fractured limbs, earaches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, cough, mild asthma attacks, burns, STD’s and in some centers physical examinations for work or school. They treat adults and children of all ages.

If needed, vaccinations can be done and prescriptions can be written without waiting for your regular doctor. Of course, this will depend on the diagnosis and/or prescription. Narcotics are often verified before a prescription is written due to the widespread problem of addiction.

There are other types of facilities such as occupational medical outfits that focus on treating workers injured on the job. This is the same concept and they also perform pre employment physicals and pre employment and random drug testing. Most occupational health facilities have physical therapists on staff to help with therapeutic measures for injured workers. Companies contract with this type of caregiver to help defray the cost of going to an emergency room or hospital in the event of an accident.

Overall, non emergency medical facilities help keep medical costs down as well as a quick process. Most centers are open seven days a week and no appointment is necessary. Check with your insurance plan to see if these type of centers are covered so you know where to go the next time you have a non emergency medical issue that cannot wait until the doctor’s office opens.