When you get sick or injured and can’t get into your primary physician, where do you go? Most people immediately head to the emergency room, mistakenly thinking that that is there only choice. Other people forego medical care at all, suffering for days before they can see their doctor. For many illnesses and injuries, urgent care is a great option. Here’s when you should visit your local urgent care center:
According to medical professionals, urgent care is the right choice if you’re suffered a minor trauma such as a sprain. While there’s no doubt that this type of injury can be handled by an emergency room, you’ll be forced to wait several hours. You should understand that an emergency room will take those with more serious injuries or illnesses ahead of you, no matter what time you show up. On the other hand, an urgent care center will get you in and out in a much shorter time frame.
A fever is an indicator that your body is attempting to fight off a virus or infection. If you are suffering with a fever without a rash, the medical professionals at your local urgent care center can run diagnostics, complete a physical exam and properly diagnose your illness. While it’s normal for people’s body temperatures to fluctuate throughout the day, or even from day to day, if you have a temperature two degrees higher than your normal, for more than a day, you should seek medical attention.
There’s no need to go to urgent care if you have a minor sore throat that you can treat yourself with over-the-counter medication. If, on the other hand, you have a severe sore throat, can see spots or blisters on your tonsils, or have other symptoms in conjunction with your sore throat, you should head down to your local urgent care. A severe or persistent sore throat may indicate a more serious medical condition, such as strep throat, that requires prescription medications to cure. A doctor at urgent care can perform a physical exam and a throat culture to discover the cause of your discomfort.
If you ate something that didn’t quite agree with you, vomiting can be a normal occurrence. If you haven’t eaten anything out of the normal, aren’t experiencing morning sickness and can’t put a finger on the reason that you may be vomiting, an exam at urgent care can provide relief. Vomiting can be an indicator of an illness like the flu, or a more serious gastrointestinal condition. If you experience persistent vomiting for more than 24 hours, it’s important that you receive a diagnosis and get proper medical treatment.
Painful urination can be an indicator of a urinary tract or bladder infection, a kidney stone or a sexually transmitted infection, among other illnesses. If you find that urination is painful, it’s important that you see a doctor. While you could be seen at the emergency room, something like painful urination isn’t considered an emergency. Your local urgent care center is more than capable of providing a diagnosis and treating your illness.
While it’s normally desirable to make an appointment with your primary physician when you fall ill, it isn’t always possible. When you can’t get in to your doctor, get ill after hours or become ill or injured while traveling, visiting urgent care is often the best option.
Sheri Clark writes for healthcare blogs. If you’re curious about when should I go to an urgent care center, read more about the closest urgent care locations.