After hours urgent care centers have become increasingly popular in the past decade. There are 110 million reported visits each year, and many Americans rely on these facilities for medical care in emergencies. If you find yourself in a critical situation, it’s important to know the risks and benefits of waiting to see your family doctor, going to the emergency room, or contacting a 24 hour urgent care center. If you are facing a critical medical emergency, here are a few things to think about before you decide where to seek treatment.
1. Is your medical condition time-sensitive?
There are often long lines and unpleasant wait times are the hospital emergency room, and when you finally see a doctor, you might not be happy with the results. You’ll be seeing a doctor you don’t know who could be in a rush, so the ER is only a good choice if you are facing a truly emergent condition. If there’s any way you can wait until the morning, trying to make an appointment with your family doctor may be more conducive to your overall health. Your family doctor is familiar with your health and knows how to offer a more holistic approach to caring for you. If you can’t wait but you’re not in a life-threatening situation, urgent care is an option because you’ll receive top quality care with less waiting time than the hospital ER.
2. Cost of the visit.
The emergency room can be outrageously expensive … it’s not that they’re overcharging, but they are equipped to see people who are suffering true medical emergencies. If you feel that you need to see a doctor about something less urgent, such as a painful tooth or fast STD testing, you should consider going to urgent care. A visit to the emergency department costs about $1,500, and going to find urgent care can save you up to 90 percent — the cost can be as low as $150.
3. Don’t forget about other services urgent care centers offer, like STD testing kits.
If you want to see a doctor quickly, a low cost health clinic can be a great option. Free health clinics have STD testing kits that are free and anonymous. You won’t have to worry about running into anyone you know, and this can be even better than seeing family care services, because the visit will remain completely confidential. You can feel confident that you will get quality care and be treated like an important patient if you get an STD testing procedure, and the STD testing cost will usually be low-cost or even free.
Seeking out STD testing kits can be embarrassing and frustrating, but if you’ve been through a similar situation and have any tips on how to make the best of it, please let us know in the comments. Sharing your experience can be really helpful to other people in similar situations, and we appreciate your feedback! Great references here.