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4 Common Medical Tests You Should Consider Getting at Urgent Care Clinics

March 14, 2016
medical tests

The rising cost of healthcare has forced many families to investigate alternative forms of services to meet their needs. The rise of urgent care facilities across the country is one of the results of this occurrence, as evidenced by the fact that these centers have technically been around since the 1970s, but have grown exponentially in popularity over recent years.

Today, there are over 6,800 urgent care centers in the U.S. that treat millions of patients every week. When most people think of urgent care, they probably associate it with sudden sickness and treatment. However, one of the main priorities of any urgent care clinic is to first properly diagnose the person they’re seeing. Medical professionals will use a variety of medical tests to determine exactly what’s wrong with a person.

Here are a few medical tests you can have done at urgent care centers that will save you time, money, and the frustration of trying to schedule an appointment with a more traditional doctor.

  1. Sports Physical: Although not technically medical tests, sports physical are required by schools and sports teams for participation to ensure that the child is healthy and capable of performing such strenuous activities. Many people don’t realize that they don’t have to have this process done at the school’s designated time. You can go to an urgent care center instead when it’s more convenient for you and your child.
  2. STD Testing: Sexually transmitted disease medical tests are another thing many people only consider having done at their primary care physician or specialty clinic. However, urgent care clinics are a great option for getting these tests, especially since many people are inherently self-conscious about getting tested for STDs. The anonymity of seeing a new doctor can alleviate that stress.
  3. Acute Illnesses: If you’re extremely sick, it’s best to see your regular doctor, but for lesser illnesses — like strep or the common cold — urgent care centers can provide fast diagnoses and even provide you with the prescriptions you need to clear up the problem within days.
  4. X-Ray Scanning: In the U.S., there are approximately 6.8 million broken bones every year. For serious broken bones, compound fractures, and similar emergency situations, it’s best to go directly to a hospital. If it’s something smaller, or you’re not convinced any bones actually broke, you can go to an urgent care center and have X-ray imaging done to find out. Again, this is for situations in which you’re checking to be safe, or it’s something that can’t really be put in a cast anyway, like a broken finger.

Urgent care clinics are becoming an intricate part of the U.S. health care system. As they continue to grow and develop, they will offer more and more medical tests that can help keep you out of hospitals and doctor’s offices.