Care Caution and Confusion When Should You Go to Urgent Care?
Urgent care 24 hours are designed to deliver affordable, convenient, and high quality healthcare to patients in need all day, every day. However, urgent care 24 hours may not always be your best treatment option.
While the popularity of urgent care centers has surged over the course of the last decade, the entire movement and push for urgent care clinics began nearly 40 years ago during the 1970’s. Fast forward to modern times, and the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 made urgent care facilities more popular — and necessary — than ever before after an influx of newly insured patients eagerly sought out the care they could finally afford.
However, with all the good urgent care centers have brought to the American healthcare system, there is a catch: confusion.
As urgent care locations across the country continue to expand their range of services, it can become difficult for patients to determine where and when to seek the appropriate care. Urgent care centers cannot replace emergency care or the medical attention provided by a primary care physician. Rather, they are meant to used in tandem and as a means to fill the gap between the two.
While it’s important to reserve true medical emergencies for the emergency room, it’s equally important know when and where to seek the right kind of medical treatment. Urgent care centers are equipped to treat a wide range of acutely occurring medical conditions, such as the common cold, the flu, stomach bugs, rashes, strains and sprains, and even cuts and burns. However, they cannot treat serious conditions such as heart attack, stroke, diabetic shock, and others.
As such, it’s always important to discuss your concerns wit your primary care provider. If you have an underlying medical condition, this may further complicate other illnesses. For example, bronchitis can be made even worse by an existing diagnosis of COPD. In these cases, it’s best to always err on the side of caution.