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Are you wondering when to choose an urgent care clinic instead of scheduling a visit with your primary care doctor? There are more than 9,000 urgent care centers in the United States alone.
If you don’t have a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, you may be unsure where to go. Making the best decision can be a combination of weighing a few different factors based on your situation.
Read on to learn when to choose an urgent care center or your primary care physician!
When You Need Medical Care
One of the benefits of urgent care is that these centers have a wider range of operating hours than most primary care doctors. This can be most beneficial to you if you have a medical need at an odd time of the day.
For example, if you twist your ankle decorating your home late at night. If you know your ankle is injured but are unsure if it is broken, you may want to visit urgent care.
If the injury occurs past 5:00 or 6:00 PM, your primary care doctor may be closed. Instead of leaving a message with his or her answering service, you can go to an urgent care center right away.
Where Your Injury Occurs
One of the best benefits of urgent care is that there are facilities located throughout the country. This makes them more accessible to patients all around the United States.
For example, if you injure your elbow while on a ski trip out of town, your primary care doctor will not be where you are vacationing. Instead of waiting until you return home to see your primary doctor, you may choose to visit an urgent care center near your ski resort.
The convenience of urgent care can make it a more favorable option for tourists who become sick or suffer an injury.
What Kind of Medical Treatment
The kind of medical treatment you need can have an impact on whether to pick an urgent care center.
If you have cold symptoms or a sprained ankle, these are the potential kinds of more minor health needs to see urgent care. If you are concerned about a potentially more serious condition or need a medical referral, it can be best to see your primary doctor.
Your primary care physician will be familiar with your medical history and medication status. They will also know of reputable doctors in the area that treats a particular condition.
This can be favorable to you as a patient that needs specialized medical treatment.
Choosing an Urgent Care Clinic
You should pick an urgent care clinic depending on when your injury happens, where you are located, and what kind of treatment. By considering responses to those questions, you will be able to make the best decision for you.
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