If you live in the United States, there is a strong chance that you have visited one of the many urgent care centers for one reason or another. There’s a good reason for that! There are so many factors that people consider when deciding whether they should go to the emergency room, their primary doctor, or urgent care.

1. They’re Convenient

They’re open for most of the day, and some urgent care centers are open all day and night. In a lot of cases, you also don’t need an appointment, or appointments are easy to get. This is in stark contrast to primary care doctors, who are notoriously booked up weeks in advance.

No matter where you live, you’re probably near a few urgent care centers. In a study, patients were asked why they decided to visit urgent care instead of another medical facility. While 22% of them said they thought the wait would be short, 21% said that urgent care was located in a more convenient area.

2. Appointments Don’t Take Much Time

When compared to some emergency room wait times, waiting for your appointment at urgent care is over in a flash. On the rare occasion there may be a wait, but most of the time you’ll be seen in 20 minutes or less. That definitely adds to the argument that it’s convenient as well as timely.

3. They’re Affordable

At most, urgent care visits cost many a few hundred dollars. Other than the co-pay they’re usually covered by insurance. That is the same price as visiting your primary care doctor, but you don’t have to wait as long for an appointment. It’s also much more affordable than a trip to the emergency room.

Some facilities also have free services, like COVID testing. Urgent care centers have been essential throughout the pandemic to get COVID rapid tests in the hands of the public. For some communities, they’re one of the only COVID testing resources in the area.

The next time you’re feeling under the weather, broke a bone, or have a headache that just won’t quit consider going to an urgent care center. It could be more convenient and more affordable than any other medical facility in your area. If you haven’t given urgent care a try, you’re not utilizing everything the American medical system has to offer.

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