If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you seek non-life-threatening but immediate care, you might wonder what your best plan of action would be. You may have to wait days to see your primary doctor but you don’t feel as if your predicament requires an emergency room visit. This is where urgent care comes in. Urgent care fills the niche space of need that rests between a doctor’s visit and a trip to the ER. The question remains, which injuries and illnesses should send you to urgent care? We are here with a list of the most common situations that are treated at these facilities to help you figure out how to handle your condition.
If you recently twisted an ankle or caught a finger at a concerning angle, you may be hesitating to go get it checked out. At our urgent care, we have in-house x-rays that can get to the route of the pain and splint the injury if possible. When the pain from the break is nearly unbearable or there is a bone visibly protruding from a wound, you need to go to an emergency room.
Burns are an injury that can have a vast range of severity. If you were cooking and splashed yourself with boiling water and your hand is red and irritated with blisters, an urgent care can treat this. Any burns that go deep or are causing extreme pain should send you to seek emergency help as these burns can cause lasting damage to your skin and tissue. We can provide topical care and treatment for superficial burns and get you back home in comfort.
Whether you have a sprain or abrasion, or are suffering from heat-induced stress, sports can cause all sorts of ailments. Walk-ins from action injuries are one of the most common reasons children and adult athletes are seen in urgent care. We can also provide physicals that are necessary for your child to start school sports every fall.
Cuts and Lacerations
Small cuts that may require stitches are also something covered at urgent care. Not only can we provide sutures to close a wound, but we can also provide a means to prevent infection. Deeper cuts that penetrate into the muscle or bone of a patient will be referred to an ER, as these can cause lasting damage to nerves and mobility.
Infections are a tricky business since they can present themself in any part of the body in very different ways. Common viral or bacterial infections such as Conjunctivitis (pink eye), ear infections, and urinary tract infections are easily treatable with steroids or antibiotics at an urgent care. More serious infections should be treated at an ER as they may lead to worsening conditions and lasting issues.
Cold and Flu
The CDC suggests that everyone over the age of six months should be receiving a seasonal flu vaccine annually. At our urgent care centers, we can provide you with vaccines for various preventative measures, and the flu vaccine is the most frequently sought out. The flu may present itself as normal cold symptoms to more severe reactions such as fever, cough, body aches, and vomiting. You are contagious days before symptoms start, so obtaining a flu vaccine can slow and stop the spread.
In our world today, one of the most prominent reasons people journey to urgent care is related to COVID-19. An urgent care can evaluate symptoms and institute covid testing if the situation warrants it. In most cases, symptoms remain mild, but there are instances where difficulty breathing, confusion or drowsiness, and persistent chest pain, should send you seeking immediate help at an emergency room.
Urgent care is a great option for those bumps and bruises that happen at odd hours of the day, sicknesses that strike you out of the blue, or last-minute immunizations and physicals. Typically, no appointment is needed and walk-ins are accepted with haste. Urgent care is not a replacement for emergency medical services, and if you are in a life-threatening situation, you must call 911 immediately. Heart attacks, severe allergic reactions, severe burns, seizures, and concussions are all examples of ailments that must be treated quickly and in an emergency room. In your time of need, the Care Station Medical Group is there to help. Stop in today so one of our board-certified physicians can help you through your injury or illness!