Wintertime is prime sick day season, so it's likely your kiddos may have to stay home from school sometime soon. If and when they fall ill, your family may find yourselves in need of fast and reliable medical treatment to protect everyone's health. But while you might think your personal physician or pediatrician will be able to help with that, you might find it tough to even get in.
Same-Day Appointments Are Hard To Come By
There's data to back this up. The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll found that in 2017, around 89% of parents initially attempted to make a doctor's appointment for their child who woke up sick. Of those 89%, only 53% were confident they'd be seen by their doctor that day. It's no surprise, then, that 40% of parents ended up pursuing alternatives like urgent medical services at walk in clinics in their area.
Parents May Need Extended Hours For Care
It can be a feat to secure an appointment with your family doctor. But even if you do manage to get your child in to see their pediatrician, you may have to take a sick day of your own just to ensure they can get care. Most family medicine providers won't be able to accommodate early-morning or evening appointments, which means that parents often have to miss work in the process. But by going to a local medical clinic for urgent medical services, your family can receive care at a time that works for you. Whether it's during an afternoon break, after dinner, or even late at night (in many cases), you can still seek out high-quality care for your kids when you need it.
Families Need Affordable And Convenient Options
Let's face it: urgent medical services can be costly, in terms of both time and money. You probably don't have time to run around to multiple locations and wait for hours on-end, nor can you afford exorbitant costs. If you choose to go a hospital ER instead of your doctor's office, you may face both of these. And even at your pediatrician's, you may have to wait a long time for an actual appointment. But in 2011, the average urgent care center saw 342 patients per week, and around 60% of all urgent care centers have wait times of 15 minutes or less. With around 9,300 walk in clinics currently in the U.S. and 50-100 opening every year, there's likely one that's close to you and that has short wait times. Finally, urgent care is quite affordable, especially if you have health insurance. The majority of patients do use their health insurance to help keep the cost of urgent medical services relatively low.
So if your child falls ill this year and you can't secure an appointment with your family doctor, don't panic. There are plenty of reasons to head to your local urgent care clinic for high-quality, convenient care.
In 2018, most of us want solutions that are quick and easy. From lightning-fast internet to the prepared foods section at our local supermarket, we aren't willing to wait or hunt for answers. That's part of the reason why urgent care facilities have become so popular in recent years. Let's take a closer look at why more people are opting to go to urgent care instead of their physician's office or the local hospital these days.
Convenience and cost matter more than ever
When you discuss the benefits of walk in clinics, the potential for convenient care has to top the list. Urgent care centers are often located in areas that are closer than the nearest hospital, making it easier than ever to access medical care. In addition, the fact that walk in clinics have extended hours of operation (some offer urgent care 24 hours a day!) is extremely appealing to students, working professionals, and families. When you can choose between trying to secure an appointment with your doctor, waiting hours in the ER, or seeing a physician quickly without calling ahead, there's really no contest. Plus, urgent care centers are typically very transparent about their costs, and those costs are generally much less than a patient would pay during emergency room visits. No one wants to go out of their way to receive care, nor do they want to pay extravagant costs for treatment. With urgent care, you don't have to sacrifice on either end.
Shorter wait times = faster care
In a society that thrives on the immediate, walk in clinics fit the bill perfectly. The simple fact that there are more urgent care locations in one area and longer hours of operation equates to less waiting. When there are only a couple of hospital options in your city, the wait times there will be much longer and the cases will range from simple colds to life-threatening emergencies. Although you might assume that an ER would provide rapid treatment to all, the reality is that in situations that aren't true emergencies, you'll likely be forced to wait for hours until you're seen. No one has that kind of time to waste. Most people want an "in and out" solution that allows them to get better as quickly as possible. Fortunately, 60% of all urgent care centers have wait times of less than 15 minutes to see a physician. When you're in a rush or simply don't have the luxury of waiting around, urgent care may be your best bet for fast, high-quality care.
Urgent care centers are often more innovative
Not only do these clinics provide convenient care, but many patients find that the treatment options are more cutting-edge than what they'll find at their doctor's office. From alternative medicine to brand new technology, urgent care centers often lead the way. While hospitals and physicians' offices may have to wait months or years before they can approve technological advancements or utilize holistic health approaches, walk in facilities often implement these innovative methods much more quickly. That gives patients the chance to benefit from useful solutions they might not otherwise find and improves their care experience overall.
Clinics are a one-stop-shop
When you have multiple family members with ailments or you've simply had a string of bad luck with your health, no one wants to run around to see multiple doctors during a short period of time. Your local walk in clinic provides convenient care for a wide variety of non-life-threatening conditions, from fevers and the flu to sprained ankles and minor wounds. Whether you need an X-ray, a sports physical, or allergy diagnosis and treatment, you don't need to spend the entire day driving to appointments. You can simply go to your local urgent care center to take care of everything.
In the coming years, there's no doubt urgent care will become even more popular. With an increased emphasis on convenient care, low costs, and fast treatment, it's no wonder that urgent care facilities are becoming the go-to for countless, busy Americans.
As you probably know, medical clinics provide a way to see a highly trained doctor without the wait. Although this convenient care is a plus for Americans of any age, it's a real boon for Millennials, in particular. This younger generation is all about making things faster and more efficient without sacrificing on quality, so it should be of no surprise that individuals in this age group are choosing to visit 24 hour walk in clinics in their area. Want to know more about the specific reasons why? Read on.
Urgent care is more accommodating, especially for those without a primary physician
Millennials are generally less likely to be tied down to one place. Many of them value being able to travel for work or for pleasure. And since Americans are settling down later in life, that means many Millennials are willing to relocate. For some, finding a new primary care physician could be a drawback to relocation. But for a lot of Millennials, it's not such a top priority. They can receive any medical treatment they need at an urgent care facility without going through the hassle of finding a new doctor. Since the nation will be short by more than 90,000 physicians by 2020 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, it'll likely be even tougher for this generation to find a primary care doctor they really like. But with urgent care, they won't have to worry about that for the foreseeable future. Therefore, they don't have to sacrifice their mobility and flexibility but can still get the convenient care to which they're accustomed.
Younger people don't have as many emergencies or chronic conditions to contend with
Simply put, a young and healthy person won't be as likely to encounter a medical emergency or develop a chronic condition as an older person might. Therefore, Millennials really don't need to visit their primary doctor or an emergency room as often as a Gen Xer or Baby Boomer might. For situations that don't warrant a trip to the ER or a specialist, urgent care is often the best option. Not only is it less expensive, but for those minor health issues -- like allergies, colds, headaches, sports injuries, and more -- it just makes sense to go to a walk-in clinic. There's no muss, no fuss with this option, and that's what a lot of Millennials respond to.
This generation wants fast, nearby treatment options
Many older Americans wouldn't be bothered by having to wait a day or two for an appointment with their doctor. But as darlings of the digital age, most Millennials want to have access to treatment on their schedule -- read: ASAP. Many Millennials will be inclined to self-diagnose via the internet or use telehealth services in lieu of going to see a primary care doctor. Urgent care clinics provide another way to receive convenient care without the wait. Millennials want just as much speed and responsiveness from their healthcare as they do from their food delivery, their social media, and their e-commerce orders. For a generation that wants their needs met now, going to urgent care will likely be their go-to when they need medical attention.
Of course, it's not just Millennials who can benefit from urgent care. Walk-in clinics are often a great option for non-life-threatening illnesses, injuries, or conditions, regardless of your age. And with so many locations all across the country, you'll likely be able to find one within close proximity. That makes it even easier to access the care you need, whenever you need it.
If you're sick or struggling with a health condition, you'll know that it can be tough at virtually any time of day. But have you ever noticed that some symptoms seem to worsen at night? Since sleep is one of the most effective ways your body can repair itself, a disruption of rest can make you feel even worse.
Fortunately, even when your doctor's office is closed, there are ways to receive after hours medical care for many of these conditions. You can start with the 9,300 or so walk-in urgent care centers around the nation (many of which are 24 hour urgent care locations that provide effective treatment at any time). From the common cold to more chronic conditions, we've listed just a few health concerns that often act up in the evenings.
Cold And Flu
It's not just your imagination; your cold and flu symptoms probably do feel worse at night. Gravity can actually play a huge part here, as your mucus flow changes a lot once you lie down. You'll probably feel more congested and will start to cough more, which can make sleeping a near-impossible feat. In addition, you should keep in mind that your immune system's inflammatory response actually goes into overdrive at night, which makes symptoms like headache, chills, and congestion feel much more pronounced. Your body is trying to do its job, but in so doing, you'll probably feel less comfortable.
Aside from seeking out flu treatment and other recommendations from your after hours medical care clinic, you may be able to ease your discomfort by hydrating properly and either steaming or clearing your nasal passages before heading to bed. You should also consider elevating your upper body for sleep. Fortunately, your discomfort won't be permanent -- but you'll find it easier to get through the flu or your cold if you adapt these habits in the short term.
If you have heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (known as GERD), you might wonder why it seems much more painful at night. Again, you can blame gravity (or the lack thereof). When you're in bed trying to sleep, acidic juices from the stomach may flow back into the esophagus, This can lead to irritation and make it very difficult to sleep.
Although there are certainly medications you can take to improve your heartburn symptoms, you can also make adjustments to your diet to reduce the need for this. You should avoid drinking coffee and alcohol in the evenings and should refrain from eating large meals as a general rule. You should also make an effort to stop smoking and wait longer after meals before going to bed. Your doctor may also recommend that you lose weight.
Although asthma might impede you from taking part in certain physical activities, it can also keep you from getting a good night's sleep. Nighttime coughing can be especially problematic for many people. Wheezing and inability to breathe can result in costly and stressful emergency room visits, so it's important to understand what causes this to occur and how to keep it from happening.
Some experts believe that the worsening of asthmatic symptoms could be related to circadian rhythms. When cortisol levels change during the nighttime, the body's airways can be impacted. Plus, when your breathing slows at night, you don't benefit from as much oxygen and carbon dioxide transfer. Your bedroom could be a culprit, if it's full of dust mites or has poor ventilation. Give your home a good cleaning and try sleeping in a more upright position. Your doctor may also recommend that you adopt a healthier lifestyle with a more balanced diet and an exercise routine. And of course, if you do suffer from an attack, you should seek out convenient care at the nearest hospital.
These symptoms may be worse at night, but your condition shouldn't keep you from a sound sleep. For many of these symptoms, you may be able to seek out after hours medical care for treatment at your local urgent care center. When a situation is too dire for after hours medical care, head to your local ER for treatment.
Although urgent care facilities are often the most convenient choice for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, emergency room visits are still the appropriate course of action in many situations. ER visits now number 110 million annually, and despite the fact that many of these cases can be handled in urgent care centers, there are still many conditions that can be categorized as true emergencies. If you're having trouble distinguishing whether certain symptoms should warrant a trip to the ER, you should take a look at the list below. While these symptoms are by no means the only reasons to go to the emergency room, these four are among the most common.
Legacy ER & Urgent Care
Legacy pioneered retail healthcare in 2008 and is now ranks in the top 1% of global retailers for customer service.