Urgent care centers are becoming more and more common across the country. These are places where you can receive care for urgent, though not exactly an emergency, medical problems. For instance, an urgent care center is a good place to go if you have a cut that needs stitches or a sinus infection that needs treatment. If you're about to visit urgent care, here are a few facts to know first.
The staff is often nurse practitioners
Urgent care centers do sometimes have doctors on staff, but it is more common for them to be staffed by nurse practitioners. These are nurses who have studied a few extra years in order to be able to diagnose and treat more common ailments. Because they are trained nurses, they tend to be great at offering quality, attentive care. If there is anything that they cannot treat, they will refer you to a doctor or the emergency room.
They usually have a short wait time
Do you hesitate to see the doctor or go to the emergency room because you know you'll have to wait a long time? Then urgent care may be life-changing for you. These clinics are designed and organized in order to have shorter wait times. You may be able to walk right into a room when you arrive, and if you have to wait, it should only be for a few minutes.
They accept most insurance
One key tenant of the whole urgent care concept is offering widely accessible care. This means accepting a wide range of insurance policies so that when you come in, you have an easy way to pay. In addition to accepting most insurance, urgent care centers offer affordable rates for patients who pay out of pocket. In fact, if you pay for your medical care out of pocket, urgent care is a good, affordable way to go.
They're often part of larger medical systems
There are several large companies that own networks of various urgent care centers. Some urgent care centers are associated with local hospitals or doctors' offices. Because they are not simply small, freestanding businesses, they have access to plenty of resources that they can use for better patient care.
Now that you know a little more about urgent care centers, visiting one will seem a lot less foreign. The next time you need medical care promptly, this is a great option.Share