The healthcare industry has changed dramatically over the years with boutique medicine, expanded access clinics, and urgent care centers becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand the actual purpose and benefit of an urgent care center. It is important that you understand the facts to help you determine when a visit to urgent care is warranted.
Urgent Care Is Not A Primary Care Substitute
It's easy to consider a local urgent care center as your primary care solution, especially if they take walk-ins or they're easy to get an appointment with. Unfortunately, these practices are not equipped to provide ongoing primary care services. You can rely on urgent care centers to handle concerns that can't wait for your primary care doctor but aren't critical enough for the local emergency room.
Urgent Care Clinics Do Not Offer Prescription Management
When you have a chronic condition that requires long-term medication, it's tempting to reach out to your local urgent care when your prescription runs out. You might think that you can just stop into the urgent care and request a refill on your medication. The fact is that prescription management is a primary care service, not an urgent care offering. If you need a refill on your medication, call your primary care doctor or the prescribing physician instead.
Urgent Care Clinics Usually Offer X-Rays
Urgent care clinics often handle cases of sprains, strains, and broken bones. For that reason, most urgent care facilities are equipped with in-house X-ray services so that they can assess injuries onsite without any need for further referral. If you're not sure about your local urgent care's capacity for providing imaging services, call in advance. They can advise you if they have the resources or if you need to go to the local emergency room instead.
Urgent Care Clinics Refer You When Necessary
Although urgent care clinics offer many medical care services, they do not have all-encompassing care. Sometimes, medical conditions require the care of a specialist or emergency room intervention. In those cases, your urgent care clinic will refer you for the care that you need.
These are just a few of the many things that you need to understand when you're dealing with an urgent care clinic for any kind of care. If you're in need of medical treatment sooner than your primary care doctor can see you but you aren't sure that it warrants emergency room response, visit your local urgent care today.
Contact a local urgent care to learn more.