This is a health care service that is provided to those who have a medical condition or injury that requires medical attention. It is also less expensive to visit urgent care than going to the emergency room. Usually the medical care that is needed is within twenty-four hours after an injury has happened or you became sick. Urgent care is usually a clinic that is not attached to a hospital, but may be on the same grounds as the hospital. Many times patients who visit this type of clinic do have a regular physician but they cannot get in that day to see their physician or it is after hours at their physician. If their medical illness or medical condition is not serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room they can choose to go to urgent care instead.
These types of medical clinics began to emerge in the 1970s and many times health insurance companies strongly encouraged their clients to use this walk-in clinic whenever they needed medical care and either did not have a regular physician or could not get into see them. The reason that they encouraged their clients to use them were because of the reduced cost. The patients could also have their conditions treated before they reach emergency status and a trip to the emergency room was needed. One example is if your child had a sore throat and it was treated within twenty-four hours it was very manageable and could be treated with medicine for the sore throat and maybe an antibiotic along with rest. If it was ignored it could become very serious, especially if it was on a weekend, and might require a trip to the emergency room.
Many of these are walk-in clinics operate on a first-come-first-served basis so if it is crowded you may have a bit of a wait. Some may require you to make an appointment but guarantee that you will be seen within twenty-four hours. Depending on the level of the urgent care facility these clinics can offer a variety of medical services. If it becomes necessary the urgent care facility can send you to the hospital emergency room. Urgent care can also perform some basic medical testing, including medical imaging like ultrasounds and x-rays for the purpose of diagnosing what your problem is. After you have been seen at urgent care you will be advised to make a follow-up visit with your regular physician in the next couple of days or to come back if the condition becomes worse.