Urgent cares are becoming convenient and affordable alternatives to heading to the emergency room for minor injuries. The Urgent Care Association reported that during the 2016 fiscal year, U.S. urgent care centers reported an average of over 15,000 patient care visits. Many people turn to urgent care for different forms of treatment, ranging from broken bones to flu treatment.
So, how do you know if urgent care is the right place to go for your injury? Here are some common injuries that warrant a walk-in urgent care visit.
1. A Slip and Fall
If you slip and fall, you can get treated at a walk-in urgent care. A slip and fall injury is just as it sounds: it occurs when you accidentally slip on something, whether that be ice, water, or debris, and fall as a result. A slip and fall could lead to minor bruising, a pulled muscle, or even a broken bone.
If you slip and fall, you can go to urgent care to get the proper healthcare services. Urgent care professionals will evaluate your injuries and determine what the best treatment is. Keep in mind that if your injuries are severe enough, they may recommend going to visit the hospital or to book a doctor’s appointment right away.
2. Small Cuts that Require Stitches
Another injury that can be treated at a walk-in urgent care is a small cut that requires stitches. We all get minor cuts now and then. We could get them while making dinner or while working on the house. The important thing to do is evaluate the cut. If the cut isn’t causing you to lose a lot of blood and isn’t too deep, you can make a trip to urgent care to get stitches.
The medical professionals at urgent care will clean the wound, stitch it, and wrap it if need be. They’ll also tell you how to keep the cut clean and reduce your chances of developing an infection.
A sprain is a common injury that occurs when ligaments are torn or stretched. Sprains can happen when people roll or twist their ankles, wrists, or knees. If your sprain is minor, you can go to urgent care to seek treatment instead of having to wait in the emergency room.
Urgent care doctors will evaluate how severe your sprain is and treat you based on its severity. They’ll look for swelling and tenderness in your impacted area and evaluate what treatment will work best for your injury. They may also order X-rays to be done to rule out a fracture or a broken bone.
Be sure to tell the urgent care professionals all you can about your sprain while getting treated. Tell them what lead up to the sprain, how it happened, and if you’ve injured the sprained area before. This will give urgent care professionals a better picture of what your injury looks like and how it should be treated.
4. Minor Burns
If you’ve suffered minor burns, you can skip going to the emergency room and seek treatment at a walk-in urgent care. First-degree burns are considered superficial since they only impact the upper layer of skin. If your burn is swollen, red, irritated, and/or inflamed, you likely have a minor burn that can be treated at urgent care.
Use your best judgment when determining how severe your burn is. Some burns may look minor at first, but after some time they can start to blister and scab over. These symptoms indicate you likely have a second-degree burn. If you aren’t sure if your burn is severe enough for an urgent care visit, you can always call your local urgent care to get their advice.
5. Minor Animal Bites
If you’ve been bitten by an animal and the injury is minor, you can seek treatment at an urgent care facility. A minor animal bite won’t have significant bleeding or large puncture wounds breaking the skin. If you were bit by an animal and the bite looks minor, head to an urgent care facility for treatment. The professionals at urgent care will evaluate the injury and tell you what your next steps for treatment should be.
Urgent care professionals will also tell you if your injury is more severe than it looks. The bite could swell up, become infected, or start bleeding more if it tears or deepens. Let the professionals tell you how your injury looks and what you can do to make it heal properly.
There are many minor injuries you can seek treatment for in a walk-in urgent care. Walk-in urgent cares are there to help people with minor injuries and illnesses get the treatment they need without having to make a trip to the emergency room or to their primary care provider. The key is to trust yourself and be knowledgeable about the severity of your injuries. The more you know about the severity, the better you’ll be prepared for your trip to urgent care.