If you are someone without adequate medical insurance – or with no medical insurance at all – it can be difficult to find medical care and treatment. In fact, this can be difficult for a number of reasons, ranging from a lack of health insurance to an inability to take time off of work to schedule a doctor’s appointment in a timely manner, as most doctor’s offices are only open during hours when most people are typically at their jobs – and getting time off is not always easy or even an option in many situations. In such cases, it is unfortunate that many of these people must resort to going to the emergency room, even in cases that are far from an emergency (but still do require medical observation or treatment). The emergency room, though it will treat anyone and everyone and is certainly the place to go in the case of a true emergency, is often prohibitively expensive with long wait times and exposure to illness and disease. In many cases, people will simply decide not to seek medical treatment at all, a choice that often leads to the worsening of whatever medical problem they might be having.
Fortunately, urgent care centers can provide an alternative to the emergency room as well as an alternative to the traditional doctor’s office. For one, the typical urgent care clinic is open at much more extensive hours than the typical doctor’s office in the United States. In fact, data even shows that as many as eighty five percent of all urgent care locations are open every single day of the week. And many an urgent care location will be open earlier in the morning and later into the evening than a typical medical center. Some will even be open twenty four hours of every single day, though it is true that these types of medical clinics are not quite as common. And urgent care is growing in popularity, seeing as many as three million patients throughout the week all across the country of the United States and currently employing as many as twenty thousand physicians and medical professionals, a number that only continues to grow as urgent care clinics become more well established and more commonplace.
And the typical walk in clinic offers a far wider array of possible treatments than most people realize. While walk in clinics do diagnose and treat minor conditions such as the ankle sprain (of which there are at least twenty five thousand out every single day in the United States alone), many are also more than capable in handling more serious injuries and illnesses. For instance, as many as eighty percent (every four out of five) urgent care centers in the United States have the capabilities to diagnose and treat a fracture, though it is likely that more severely broken bones will be redirected to the hospital emergency room. Urinary tracts infections (also called UTIs), of which there are more than eight billion diagnosed in the time span of just one year, can also be treated at a walk in clinic, as can the common cold (of which there are more than one billion cases of in this same span of time). The flu can also be diagnosed, and flu shots can be procured as a preventative measure. Because as much as twenty percent of the population is likely to come down with the flu during any given flu season (though this number and percentage will vary depending on the severity of the strain popular that year), getting your flu shot is more than just simply recommended, especially if you are pregnant or have very young children, both populations that are naturally more susceptible not only to contracting the flu in the first place, but of having an adverse reaction to it as well.
There are many reasons to go to an urgent care center, but one of the main ones is price. An urgent care visit is hugely cost effective, costing just over two hundred dollars on average even without medical insurance while an ER visit will be usually at least one thousand dollars – or sometimes even more.
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