Urgent care centers have started to spring up in most cities, offering a good in-between alternative to both the emergency room and your ordinary doctor's office in most cases. The experience of visiting an urgent care center is quite different from the experience of going to the hospital and in a good way. But because the experience is so different, it is nice to know what to expect. Here are some things to know about urgent care before you step inside for the first time.
1. You don't need an appointment.
The first time you visit, you may feel strange about going to a doctor's office without an appointment. But that is exactly why urgent care exists. These facilities are built to treat urgent medical situations promptly, and those who run them understand that medical problems are not usually something you plan ahead for. You can definitely call ahead to the urgent care center if you want to make sure they can get to you in a timely manner. (Some places will put you "on a list" resulting in a decreased wait time when you arrive.) But this is not necessary; you can always just walk right in.
2. They accept most insurance options.
Since urgent care centers are intended to be easily accessible healthcare solutions for all sorts of people, they generally accept health insurance from all of the popular providers in your area. If you have insurance through a smaller, independent company, you may want to call ahead and see if it's accepted, but it likely will be.
You can also pay out-of-pocket at most urgent care centers, and the services are more affordable than you might think — they are far cheaper than going to the emergency room!
3. They offer a huge range of services.
Since urgent care facilities have to be prepared to treat a wide range of ailments, they can do a lot for you. Many have their own x-ray and imaging equipment, allowing them to handle suspected broken bones. They have doctors and nurses on staff who can give stitches, treat minor concussions, diagnose and treat allergic reactions, and so much more. The urgent care center will refer you to a specialist or send you to the hospital if they come across something they can't treat, but this doesn't happen as often as you might think.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect during your first urgent care visit. These facilities, and the people who run them, are truly exceptional. To learn more information about urgent care visits, reach out to a company such as West Ocean City Injury & Illness Center.