The situation is all too familiar. It’s Saturday morning and you or your child wakes up with a cough and low fever. Of course this happens as soon as you’ve got a busy week coming up, and you can’t afford to fall sicker over the weekend while waiting for an appointment with your family physician.
It’s obvious that something is wrong, but you know it’s minor. So now, you have two possible options in order to receive same-day treatment for this minor affliction; head to your nearest hospital emergency room and wait for what will feel like an eternity, or walk in to an urgent care center and wait for 15 minutes or less. You would be among one of the 3 million patients who visited urgent care per week in 2010.
Furthermore, for something that may only require a prescription, isn’t it better to protect yourself from the gore and travesty that is ever-so-present in an urban emergency room?
In both cases, you’re going to be looked at by a professionally-trained doctor, but there are a number of reasons why a visit to an urgent care center is more enjoyable and effective than a visit to the local ER. For urgent care in Birmingham, Alabama, our doctors can address a number of issues within a reasonable time frame to get you back into your regular scheduled day.
Why go to an urgent care center?
As opposed to an average four hour wait time throughout America, or Utah’s astounding eight-hour wait for emergency room service, our urgent care center in Birmingham, Alabama promises that patients are attended to within the hour. Most urgent care centers throughout the country have an outstanding track record of seeing 80% of customers in 60 minutes or less.
With regular appointments as well as walk-in service available, heading to your nearest urgent care center ensures that you’re seen quickly and professionally, without holding up ER doctors with situations that aren’t life threatening.
When to go to the ER?
Sometimes an accident happens and we’re too overwhelmed to think straight about the actual situation. It’s best to know what kinds of services your doctor’s office provides versus when it is absolutely necessary to go to an emergency room.
While urgent care centers can take care of your average ailments and emergencies, if you need life-or-limb-saving care, your best bet will be to head to your nearest emergency room.
Things such as severe burns, head trauma, altered mental status, or generally anything relating to chest pain or heart palpitations, it’s probably best to call 9-1-1 immediately and get medical attention as soon as possible.
If you consider it an urgent matter that cannot wait until your family doctor’s office is open, an urgent care center is a better option for you.
According to a 2010 study in Health Affairs, 13.7 – 27.1% of all emergency department visits could have been handled at an urgent care center. These visits could have saved a total of $4.4 million annually, considering that an average hospital room visit adds up to $1318. Whereas a visit to Quick Care Family Medicine’s Urgent Care in Birmingham, Alabama costs you a grand total of $60.
When to go to Urgent Care?
An urgent care doctor can do most of what’s required for non-life-threatening injuries. But, how do you know if it’s something you can go to an urgent care center for, or requires a trip to the ER? Knowing that most urgent care centers can take care of fractures, breaks, and sprains with the use of x-ray machines on-site, as well as all the knowledge necessary to identify your couch, rash or boil.
At Quick Care Family Medicine, finding Urgent Care in Birmingham, Alabama is simple. We offer a wide range of urgent care solutions, including:
- Physical examinations:
- Pap smears
- Elderly care
- Pediatric care
- X-ray imaging to determine between a break, sprain and fracture
- On-site lab tests if immediately required for things such as:
- Drug screening and tests
- Emergency STD / STI testing
- In-house pharmacy to fill your immediately needed prescription
- Vaccinations and flu shots, to prevent a false-alarm from becoming the real-deal
- Suturing of superficial lacerations or open wounds
- Emergency incision and drainage of boils
These services enable us to manage and treat a number of issues such as vomiting, painful urination, strains and sprains, accidents and fails, minor trauma, severe sore throat, fever and flu, infections and skin rashes, cuts that require stitches, and moderate joint pain.
As a general rule of thumb, if you need assistance for something that your family doctor could provide, or are looking for a service that a nurse would actually end up providing in an emergency room (i.e. sutures) then an urgent care center is the better option for you.
Urgent Care is not going away:
Quick Care Family Medicine, our Urgent Care Center in Birmingham, Alabama, is not the only urgent care center available to you, considering that the U.S. has seen an increase in the number of clinics by 3.5% from 2010 – 2015. In 2013 alone, there were over 9,000 clinics open and accepting non-life-threatening issues.
Deciding what your best solution is is important to getting the proper care that your ailment or injury needs. Take into consideration the things that your doctor’s office or urgent care center can provide by thinking about your actual injury or ailment and deciding if it’s a life-threatening injury or not. In most cases, if you’ve had the time to think it through, a visit to your urgent care centre Birmingham, Alabama may be your best bet to save time and money, allowing you to quickly return to your busy life.