Americans rely heavily on the 24-hour access that ER services provide, but that doesn't mean every minor trauma should be subjected to what can sometimes amount to hours of waiting in a holding area. While emergency services are important, not all urgent medical needs require an ER for treatment.
If you've experienced a minor trauma or urgent medical situation, you may be better off seeking out ER care without the wait at an urgent care clinic. Here are a few symptoms that don't necessarily require a full ER workup.
Minor Burns and Lacerations
You might need a few stitches or a wound cleaning, but minor injuries like this don't necessarily qualify as emergency situations. If you're unsure how severe a cut or burn is, it's important to seek medical treatment. But waiting for three hours in an ER isn't going to help you. Instead, you should consider seeking out treatment at an urgent care facility.
Cold or Flu Symptoms
If you have a cold or suspect the flu, it's normal to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Unfortunately, illness doesn't necessarily strike at the most opportune times. When that happens, an urgent care clinic is going to be your best bet. This is especially true if you're exhibiting flu symptoms, which may require ER care without the wait.
Sprains and Strains
A twisted ankle is certainly something you should worry about, but not necessarily at the emergency room. Further treatment may be needed, but assessing the severity of the sprain at an urgent care center is always a good idea. It's best to determine whether more in-depth treatment is necessary after an urgent care visit.
Persistent or High Fever
If a fever reaches a certain point, it's important to seek out emergency services. But if it's simply persistent or you think it could be a symptom of another illness, it's never a bad idea to visit urgent care centers. This will allow you to adequately treat the issue and assess whether or not you'll need further treatment in the future.
Urgent care is an important service for countless people. Whether it's a fever, a cold, or a sprained ankle, urgent care services can help diagnose and treat symptoms that don't necessarily qualify as emergencies.
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