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5 Secrets About Urgent Care Doctors Want You to Know

July 7, 2016
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You’ve cut your hand, your child has a cold, and one of your in-laws is complaining of mild chest pain. Your first instinct is to go to urgent care because these are not life-threatening problems. Before heading to your car, you might want to consider the following urgent care secrets.

You should still see your doc
Although an urgent care facility does have many of the same things found in a doctor’s office, it cannot replace your primary care physician. Urgent care centers provide care when you are sick and your primary care doctor is unavailable. Just 29% of primary care doctors are available to patients for after-hours coverage. For this reason, urgent care is available to service those who do not have access to their physician.

They don’t want to refill your prescriptions
It is a common conception that refilling prescriptions is a simple and easy process. Chronic conditions are highly recommended to be monitored by primary care doctors. This is because they are able to see your treatment from start to finish. They can also help you to make the necessary lifetime changes to maintain the condition.

If possible, go during the day
The start of business, dinnertime, and closing time are known as the busiest times to visit medical centers. This is because patients tend to visit before or after work or school. Studies have shown that wait times are shorter in the late morning and early afternoon in the middle of the week.

You may be seen by a nurse practitioner
Contrary to belief, not all staff at immediate care centers are family doctors. In many cases, there may be a nurse practitioner or physician assistant providing you with health care services. Considering that the average American child catches a cold up to 10 times a year, 3 million people visit an urgent care facility every week. Physicians typically examine more serious conditions, like chest pain.

Don’t go if you think you could be having a heart attack
Speaking of chest pain, patients who come into urgent care clinics suffering chest pain are often sent to the emergency room. The time you spend visiting a walk in clinic wastes time, heart muscle, and brain tissue. Experts recommend going straight to the emergency room if you think you may be having a heart attack.

There are many reasons you need need to visit an urgent care facility. From cuts and minor injuries to sicknesses like the flu, medical professionals at these facilities can service your needs when your doctor cannot. Consider a walk in clinic the next time you need medical attention. You could save lots of time and money.