It can be difficult to know whether to head for the doctor, the emergency room, or an urgent care center. While all of these facilities are available to you when you have medical needs, they are each equipped to deal with different problems. These are great facilities that can help you when you are unsure what's going on and you can't arrange for a doctor's appointment fast enough. They can handle minor emergencies like cuts and burns. They can prescribe medications for illness. If you require the emergency room or need to follow up with a doctor, you will learn what you need when you visit the center, too.
Here are a few examples of when it's best to head to one of these facilities rather than the doctor's office or the emergency room.
Minor Sprains and Strains
If you've been hurt playing amateur sports or just around the house, it can be daunting to deal with a sprain or strain on your own. Sprains are when your ligaments have been overstretched, usually when excessive force has been applied to a joint. They often happen in ankles and wrists. Strains happen in the muscles, when muscles have been overstretched and fibers tear. Not all sprains and strains are an emergency but it helps to rule out serious injuries and have a professional take a look. This is a classic example of when to head to a local urgent care center.
When a cut is too deep for at-home first aid but not deep enough to warrant an emergency room visit, urgent care units can help you properly clean and dress the cut and provide stitches if necessary. Because they are prepared for a large volume of patients, they can often take care of you quickly so you don't have to sit in a waiting room too long.
If you've been trying to take care of a cold or the flu and over the counter medication hasn't helped alleviate the symptoms, you can head to an urgent care center to see if you require prescription medications or if you need serious medical help. When you need immediate attention but can't manage to get an appointment with your doctor, you can walk in and discuss your symptoms and they can prescribe antibiotics to help you get through the illness.