Understanding the Role of Urgent Care in the Healthcare System

Understanding the Role of Urgent Care in the Healthcare System

38% of Americans say that they or a family member put off medical visits due to financial problems. However, attempting to treat something yourself can sometimes do more harm than good.

There will be times when you get hurt or sick, and a trip to your primary physician isn’t an option. This is where urgent care centers come in. Urgent care facilities offer affordable and convenient services for your medical concerns.

But what makes it different from emergency care? Here’s what you need to know about the role of urgent care in the healthcare system.

When Should You Go to Urgent Care?

Urgent care centers provide convenient and immediate health services for non-emergency medical concerns. These centers allow you to get the care you need without making an appointment or waiting hours in the in-patient room. Urgent care clinics can tend to the following:

  • Infections
  • Colds or flu
  • Allergies
  • Tick removal or insect bites
  • Skin rashes
  • Strains and sprains
  • Cuts that need stitches

Some clinics allow patients to check in online but generally tend to walk-in patients. Urgent care clinics also have more convenient hours. This means you won’t have to wait until the next day to get care for a nasty rash or cold.

Shorter Wait Time

Setting up an appointment with your family doctor can take days or even weeks, depending on the situation. In 2022, the average appointment wait time was 26 days. Many things can go wrong during this time window, and you risk worsening your sickness or injury.

Primary care doctors can offer the same services as urgent clinics. Some families or individuals also feel more comfortable with their primary physicians due to their long-term relationship. However, urgent care doctors can step in when you’re in a pinch.

This can help you get some relief while waiting for your appointment with your physician.

Saving the Emergency Room for Real Emergencies

Emergency rooms prioritize patients who have more severe life-threatening symptoms. If a patient comes in with a head injury, you may need to wait a while before getting treated for your allergy. Urgent care medical facilities bridge the gap for those with non-life-threatening issues and true emergencies.

Urgent care helps hospital ERs focus on delivering care where it’s needed. In addition, emergency room treatment costs more than going to an urgent care center.

Symptoms that require ER trips would include the following:

  • Poisoning
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • Head injury
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • High fever
  • Severe pain or weakness
  • Poisoning
  • Uncontrolled or severe bleeding

So, before you make the trip to the ER, ensure it’s what you need. If you think your condition isn’t too serious, an urgent care center can help you save time and money.

Urgent Care Centers in Texas

Knowing when and where to access medical attention can be the difference between life and death. No one should wait days before getting treated for an illness or injury. Urgent care centers exist to provide immediate care for non-emergencies, so you can rest easy and focus on getting better.

Victory Medical offers urgent and primary care services in the Austin and Westlake Hills area. Contact us today and let us know all about your concerns.