In a non-emergency situation, your local urgent care clinic can provide the fast, dependable care you need, often without the longer wait times found at the hospital. In fact, according to the Urgent Care Association, U.S. urgent care centers handle an average of three patient care visits per hour and 50 visits per day.

However, there are common misconceptions about urgent care clinics. Before you make an informed choice regarding your medical care, keep reading below to learn more about urgent care clinics.

Misconception #1: Urgent Care Clinics are the Same as the ER

While urgent care clinics are ideal when you need to see a doctor quickly, they are not equipped to handle life-threatening or emergency situations. If you are experiencing serious injuries or symptoms of heart attack, stroke, or severe bleeding, then the ER is the place for you. However, in the event of non-life-threatening illnesses or symptoms, your local urgent care clinic can provide you the medical care you need, including doctor visits, examinations, testing, and treatment.

Misconception #2: Urgent Care is More Expensive

Urgent care clinics usually cost less than an emergency room visit, especially if you do not have insurance. An uninsured visit to the ER is generally more expensive than an urgent care visit that will usually charge you a flat rate for treatment. If you are insured, urgent care clinics will also honor your insurance and generally charge you a lower cost than the high deductible charged for ER visits.

Misconception #3:You Can Replace Your Family Physician With Urgent Care

While urgent care physicians are just as qualified as family physicians, you shouldn’t replace your regular doctor visits with urgent care. Urgent care visits are a convenient way to see a doctor when your doctor is unavailable, or if you can’t make an appointment. However, your family physician is more familiar with your medical history and is better equipped to offer long-term and preventative care. Nonetheless, you can feel confident seeing an urgent care doctor as your records will be readily available to your regular physician, and this will not disrupt or affect your care in any way. Many urgent care centers do offer primary care services as well, so if you need a wellness check or annual physical and can’t get an appointment with your family physician, you can rely on an urgent care.

Urgent care clinics are an easy way to see a physician in non-emergency situations. Visit your local urgent care clinic today for a cost-effective alternative to the ER that offers a high level of care that is both caring and convenient.

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