Do you know the closest urgent care locations to you? Many of us know our primaries physicians office, but it’s good to know where to go in case of more severe injury or illness. While the emergency room is typically thought of as the go to place for most cases, urgent care locations are actually capable of handling most of our common ailments.

What Urgent Care Locations Provide

Urgent Care locations serve as walk-in clinics that can provide treatment for many injuries and illnesses. If you’re unaware of all the things and urgent care clinic can do, here are a few of the most common things they handle.

  • Accidents or Falls. Urgent Care centers are equipped to handle injury from common accidents and minor falls.
  • Sprains. If you’ve sprained your wrist or ankle an urgent care center will be able to treat the issue quickly and efficiently, without the long wait of an ER.
  • Minor Cuts or Lacerations. These centers are also able to handle minor cuts and lacerations that require stitches; however, deeper or profusely bleeding cuts will require ER treatment.
  • Diagnostics. X-rays and other lab tests can be performed at an urgent care center.
  • Eye Irritation. If you’ve gotten chemicals or debris in your eyes that is causing irritation, an urgent care center will be able to treat the issue.
  • Illness. Illnesses such as the flu, that cause dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea, can be treated here as well. They’re also able to assist with fevers, sore throats, or persistent coughs. This can be handy if you’re unable to get into your primary physician’s office.
  • Broken Bones. Minor breaks or fractures can be treated at an urgent care facility.
  • Skin Irritation. Unusual or irritating rashes or other skin infections are able to be handled at an urgent care center as well.

These are just some of the most common issues that can be handled at many urgent care facilities; however, be sure to research the ones around you to see what their specialties are.

Why Choose An Urgent Care Clinic?

There are many benefits to choosing an urgent care facility over the standard ER.

  • There is no appointment necessary, though some may give you the option to book one online. Either way most centers only have a wait time of thirty to forty minutes max. (And that’s on a busy day.) Patients are usually in and out in no time. By contrast, emergency room cases are prioritized by severity, meaning you could be waiting hours for treatment.
  • Their hours are more flexible than most doctors offices. There are even some open 24 hours. This means you have a place to go should an emergency arise in the middle of the night. While we hope nothing like that ever happens, it’s always smart to be prepared.
  • The cost is much less than a standard ER visit. In many cases insurance is able to cover the visit. Even if insurance doesn’t pick up the bill you can expect to have hundreds over the emergency room.

If you haven’t already, take the time to get to know the urgent care locations near you. Become familiar with what they cover, and what hours they operate. It’s always better to have a plan and never have to use it, than to be left scrambling when an emergency occurs.