Urgent care facilities in the United States are becoming more and more common, and there are currently more than 7,000 locations nationwide. Urgent care centers are often cheaper and more convenient than going to the hospital. About 27% of all emergency room visits could be handled at after hours urgent care facilities. They are equipped to treat a variety of conditions, with the most common diagnosis in 2012 being an upper respiratory infection. If you want to learn more about urgent care facilities, here’s a list of 10 conditions they often diagnose and treat.
1. Flu shots
We are in the midst of the flu season, and one of the best ways to prevent contracting this unpleasant illness is by getting a flu shot. Visit your local urgent care center for a walk in visit or schedule an appointment to get a fast, low-cost flu shot that can keep you healthy this winter.
Most urgent care clinics are able to handle broken bones and sprains, and you can get faster care than if you go to an emergency room. If you need an x-ray, you can feel confident getting treatment from the doctors at your local urgent care.
Stitches are an effective way to close a wound and protect from infection, and they also lessen scarring. It’s best to get care immediately if you have a superficial or deep cut, because fast care can prevent other complications from occurring.
4. STD testing
This requires the highest level of confidentiality, and patients usually want the results quickly so they can deal with the problem appropriately. Urgent care centers offer STD testing and subsequent treatment if it’s necessary, and they do this all while maintaining patient privacy.
5. Bacterial infections
If your doctor determines you have a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics. It’s important to be tested to make sure that the cause is bacterial, and if it is, you can get medicine from a physician at urgent care. Antibiotics often help you feel better very quickly, so try to see a medical professional as soon as possible.
6. Pregnancy tests
It can be very stressful if you suspect that you’re pregnant, and you probably want a doctor to confirm your suspicions as soon as possible. An urgent care center can offer a fast, cheap and confidential blood test that will determine if you’re pregnant. If you are, they can direct you about where to begin and how to find the appropriate doctor.
7. Women’s health services
Lots of urgent care facilities have an obstetrics and gynecology division that is specifically devoted to women’s health, so you can feel comfortable going there to get treatment.
8. Allergic reactions
The most severe allergic reactions will require emergency care, but if you’re having a minor reaction or even routine allergies, a physician at urgent care can diagnose and treat you.
This is especially a problem in older adults, and urgent care facilities can offer rehydration fluids and can monitor the patient’s condition to ensure they are properly hydrated before returning home.
10. Stomach pain
This can sometimes be indicative of a more serious problem, but minor stomach pain can usually be treated with medicine to reduce nausea or motion sickness. More research here.