A Few Important Things You Should Know About Urgent Care Facilities
Whether it’s a case of the flu or a sprained ankle, you’ve likely been to one or more urgent care facilities throughout your life. But how much do you really know about the services they provide? If not, here are a few important things you need to know about urgent care facilities.
No Replacement for Your PCP
While it’s important to have urgent care clinics available during urgent medical situations, it’s equally as important to note that the physician treating you there is not your primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP exists to look out for your health and well being throughout your life, not just in an urgent medical situation. Things like chronic conditions, surgical procedures, and long-term prescriptions are typically handled by your PCP. So after you’ve received treatment at an urgent care facility, it’s probably a good idea to check in with your PCP soon after to let them know what happened.
Treatment for More Than You Think
There are an estimated 110 million visits to the ER every year, but not all of them actually require emergency services. In fact, you’d be surprised at just how many services an urgent care clinic can provide. Anything from minor sprains and fractures to a case of the stomach flu can be treated at an urgent care center because they are outfitted with the appropriate equipment to handle any number of urgent medical situations.
But Urgent Care Isn’t the ER
Even though urgent care clinics can provide a wide array of services, these facilities are no substitute for the ER in true medical emergencies. For example, a gunshot wound victim couldn’t receive the surgical treatment they would need at an urgent care center. In truly life-threatening circumstances, it’s still necessary to to seek out emergency services.
Urgent care clinics might not be the be all, end all of medical treatment, but they are an important resource that you should make use of. If you can’t make it to your PCP or another issue comes up, don’t hesitate to consult with a physician at an urgent care clinic.