Urgent care clinics are a convenient way to receive medical attention for minor or non-life-threatening conditions. The clinics are easily accessible with over 9,000 clinics available in the United States, with urgent care in Lexington, KY to Philadelphia, PA. If you don’t have much knowledge or experience with urgent care (or you do and want to know more), read on for 7 interesting facts about this type of medical service.
1. Urgent Care is Not the Same as Emergency Care
The type of conditions treated at urgent care is not the same as the type of conditions you would seek emergency care for. A trip to the ER is best for life-threatening or major medical injuries while urgent care treats minor injuries. Urgent care facilities are not equipped to handle emergency services such as in the case of heart attack or stroke symptoms. While you can visit the ER for minor injuries, you can get the same level of care from urgent care.
2. Urgent Care Clinics Feature Extended Business Hours
One of the best features of visiting urgent care in Lexington, KY is the availability of the service. Hours will vary by location, but urgent care clinics typically operate on nights, weekends, and some holidays. This is a major benefit for individuals needing medical care but who aren’t able to see their primary care physician. This offers a huge convenience if you’re experiencing a minor medical issue but can’t get an appointment and don’t feel it’s necessary to go to the emergency room.
3. Urgent Care Clinics Staff a Variety of Medical Professionals
When you visit an urgent care clinic, you can expect to be seen by either a doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are able to perform exams and treat and diagnose common conditions. If you have a case that might be a bit more complicated, these professionals are able to consult with a doctor at the clinic to provide the best care.
4. Urgent Care is Significantly Cheaper than a Trip to the ER
Visits to the ER are notoriously expensive, even with insurance. A trip to the ER could cost you between $1200–$1400 while a visit to urgent care could be less than $150. The costs are so high because the ER needs to be prepared to handle major emergencies that come with providing expensive equipment. Urgent care clinics don’t have that expense and can charge less. For minor injuries, it makes much more sense to visit urgent care in Lexington, KY as opposed to the ER.
5. Urgent Care Wait Times are Shorter Than Emergency Care Wait Times
Another thing emergency rooms are notorious for is the long wait times, often nearly 2–3 hours. If you’re in the emergency room for a minor injury, you can expect a long wait time if more serious cases come in. The ER has to prioritize life-threatening injuries over non-life-threatening injuries which can result in longer wait times. At urgent care, you’re seen on a first come, first serve basis and can enjoy a significantly less wait time of around 30 minutes. However, it should be noted that wait times can vary based on the clinic and the time or day you go. An urgent care clinic is likely to be busier on nights, weekends, and holidays when doctor’s offices are not open.
6. Millennials Prefer to Use Urgent Care Services
Urgent care clinics are popular among the millennial generation, which refers to individuals born between 1981 and 1996. Millennials use the services of an urgent care clinic more than any other generation. The reasoning could be that millennials have time constraints on when they can access care and need to utilize after-care services such as those provided by urgent care in Lexington, KY.
7. Urgent Care is not a Replacement for a Primary Care Physician
While urgent care is a convenient option if you are unable to see your doctor, it is not a replacement for seeking regular services from a primary care physician. At an urgent care clinic, you’ll see whichever healthcare professional is available on that day. It’s more beneficial to seek a primary care physician over time to have a trusted professional well-versed in your care, which is especially important for chronic treatments.
If you’re in need of medical attention for a minor injury and aren’t able to visit your doctor, urgent care in Lexington, KY is a fantastic option. You’ll be provided with the quality care you need in a more timely and cost-effective manner.