Need Care Now: 9 Signs You Should Definitely Visit An Urgent Care Center
Sometimes things happen that do not seem serious enough to head for the emergency department but seem too serious to wait. Not knowing may cause you to wait when you should head straight to an urgent care center.
This can make your situation go from bad to worse. Prepare yourself now by learning 9 signs that deem your situation urgent.
What is an Urgent Care Center
You may ask, ‘what is an urgent care clinic exactly?’
These centers see patients at hours that most doctor’s offices do not when a situation requires immediate attention. They allow people to skip a trip to the hospital when the situation does not necessarily qualify as an emergency.
Like your doctor’s office, they will accept most insurances. If they do not take yours, then you can pay an upfront fee for the visit.
9 Situations Requiring an Urgent Medical Center
Don’t waste precious time debating. Keep reading to learn 9 signs that tell you when to go to urgent care.
1. Serious Sore Throat
If your throat hurts, like more than post-nasal drip irritation, then you should not wait to see your doctor.
If you experience a fever and belly ache, you may have strep throat. This infection needs antibiotics and typically does not cause complications when treated promptly.
However, strep left untreated can lead to serious complications including scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, and sepsis. For this reason, a sore throat requires you to visit an urgent medical center on weekends holidays, and when your doctor cannot get you in.
2. Minor Accident
Following a minor car accident, most people do not want to hop into an ambulance for evaluation. However, you may want to consider a trip to urgent care.
Here, they can access you for any injuries. They can treat you for most non-life-threatening injuries caused by the accident.
3. Bump on the Head
If you or a loved one get a bump on the noggin, you may want to get it checked out, without a traumatic trip to emergency. For this, you can go to urgent care.
However, go straight to emergency if a bump on the head leads to:
- loss of consciousness
- loss of coordination
- memory loss
- vision problems
- difficulty speaking
- severe bleeding
An urgent care center will give you peace of mind and possibly something to treat the headache if the bump only caused a mild contusion.
Ear pain can cause a ton of suffering. You probably do not want to wait until the doctor can fit you in. Most cases of ear pain come from swimmers ear and ear infections.
Know what is an urgent care clinic visit and what is not though. Ear pain with a stiff neck, a high fever, or an object stuck inside the canal warrants a trip to the emergency department instead. Urgent care can treat your pain and prescribe you antibiotics in most cases though.
5. The Flu
A virus causes influenza. This means that antibiotics cannot treat the infection. You should, however, still go to an urgent care clinic when your symptoms start.
Antiviral medications, like Tamiflu, can help your body fight the virus, so you do not get as sick and recover quicker. But, medical experts recommend taking the medication as soon as symptoms begin.
Waiting for your doctor may make you miss the window for the medication to properly work. Urgent care can administer an antiviral, and treat your flu symptoms, such as fever, pain, cough, nausea, and mild dehydration.
6. Painful Urination
Usually, urgent care doctors can treat the cause and symptoms of painful urination. Commonly, urinary tract infections cause this unpleasant symptom.
Seek emergency attention if you also experience high fever, chills, and severe flank pain that accompanies the painful urination. This could indicate a more serious infection in the kidneys, a kidney stone, or other severe complications.
Otherwise, head to urgent care, even if you see blood or debris in your urine. They can give you antibiotics to treat the infection and possibly offer you a medication to ease the burning sensation.
Though they can easily treat a UTI, it can quickly escalate to something more serious if not caught promptly.
7. Cuts Needing Stitches
Some cuts do not seem emergent but do look like they need immediate attention. For these situations, go to an urgent medical center.
Skip urgent care and head to the emergency room if the cut is:
- still bleeding after 10 minutes of holding pressure on it
- on the face
- wider than one-inch
- exposing bone or tendon
However, the clinic can handle minor stuff like butterflies and stitches. If you got bit by an animal, only choose urgent care if you know the animal received all vaccinations. They can treat your wound and give you a tetanus shot if necessary.
8. Strains and Sprains
Slips, falls, sports, and other mishaps can lead to minor muscle strains and/or tendon sprains. Though you may not want to wait an entire weekend to see a doctor, they typically do not require a trip to the emergency room.
As long as the bone does not poke through the skin, the limb does not appear deformed, and no joints popped out of their sockets, a walk-in clinic can handle it. They can take x-rays and treat your injury accordingly.
Waiting to see your doctor will not only leave you in pain, but it could also lead to more inflammation and worsening of the injury from not properly stabilizing or treating it right away.
People with chronic asthma or allergies may often need immediate attention without frequenting the emergency department. Fortunately, urgent care clinics can treat both conditions.
Swelling of the throat, tongue, or face, blue lips, or inability to speak warrant a 911 call. However, urgent care can check your vitals and treat wheezing from asthma and allergies with nebulizer treatments, inhalers, and other necessary measures.
Visit Your Local Clinic for Urgent Matters
When you get injured or fall ill, do not suffer longer than necessary waiting for a doctor appointment. This can cause an urgent situation to become emergent.
Instead, visit your local urgent care center for prompt treatment. We want to help you find a center near you 24/7. Learn more about us on our website!
- 1 What is an Urgent Care Center
- 2 9 Situations Requiring an Urgent Medical Center
- 3 Visit Your Local Clinic for Urgent Matters