Some injuries are Urgent Care, but they are also not immediately life-threatening. They will either get worse if not treated or stop being urgent in about a week. However, the emergency room is recommended for critical conditions that could be life-threatening if basic steps are not taken immediately, such as an asthma attack or severe burn.
Try visiting an urgent care center instead of your nearest emergency department when you have an acute medical condition that does not require immediate emergency care. Here are some examples of injuries and illnesses that should be addressed at urgent care centers instead of the ER:
If you or a loved one has strained a muscle, tendon, or ligament, urgent care centers are the best place to go. Sprains happen when there is an injury to a joint, and they can be treated with rest and supportive measures such as ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen. Urgent care centers offer these services, and they’re open seven days a week too.
A dislocated joint is just as painful as it sounds: there’s a bone out of its socket. Trained medical professionals must reset this type of injury, so urgent care centers are the best option. They will treat the pain and displace the bone back into place while you’re there.
Whether you have broken a bone in your foot, arm, or leg, urgent care centers can help. A fracture is any break of the bone, and they will use X-rays to determine whether there’s a need for a cast or surgery. Urgent care centers have the staff and equipment to deal with all types of fractures, from minor to major.
Dental or facial injuries
If you got hit in your mouth, urgent care centers would fix you right up because teeth are expensive to repair. If you get a chipped tooth or cut lip, urgent care centers can deal with it. It’s important to try and hold off on going to urgent care centers for minor dental injuries like a broken filling.
Urgent care centers work with local dentists who specialize in urgent dental procedures and generally do them at half the cost of what a lawyer would charge you. They also make sure that everything is healed properly and don’t leave behind any bits and pieces of what used to be your teeth.
Fevers, colds, and the flu
Fevers, coughs, stuffy noses? Not urgent! You do not need to go straight to the ER for these conditions. However, if your symptoms are more severe, like vomiting or difficulty breathing, you should seek urgent medical attention because it could signify that you have a serious illness.
An earache is undoubtedly painful, but urgent care centers fix it without making you wait for hours to be seen. Most urgent care centers use providers trained in urgent conditions so that you can receive quick treatment and you’ll probably even wait less than 15 minutes.
Ear infections could mean that you have any number of viruses. Most urgent care centers use providers who are decent at treating infectious diseases because urgent medical offices see a lot of cases like this daily. If there is discharge or an ear infection lasts longer than 10 days, urgent care centers will help because it means something more serious might be going on.
Urgent care centers know how to take the discharge, test it for bacteria, and compare it with what other patients tested positive for to figure out what kind of infection it is. When urgent care centers come to the rescue, you’ll be on your way to feeling better in no time.
Back pain and other back injuries
An urgent care center can help with most common accidents that can happen at home such as cutting yourself while trying to fix dinner, twisting your ankle on the hike up Mount Everest, and slipping and falling on a banana peel. They will also treat sprains and splinters if they aren’t too bad. If it is not urgent but still needs immediate medical attention, urgent care centers provide medication for general aches and pains like Advil and Tylenol.
If you find yourself with urgent medical needs, urgent care centers are the best option. They offer a more convenient and cost-effective alternative than going to the emergency room, where you can wait hours for treatment of non-life-threatening conditions or injuries. Urgent care centers are open seven days a week, so there’s no need to worry about being available on their schedule. There is an urgent care center near most major metropolitan areas, so if you have any urgent medical needs, head over there instead of an ER.