Urgent care practice has grown in popularity recently as Americans face rising healthcare costs and a shortage of primary care physicians. Urgent care centers offer a convenient alternative to waiting hours in the emergency room or paying out of pocket for a specialist visit. These clinics are equipped to handle non-life-threatening medical emergencies that aren’t urgent enough to see an ER doctor but cannot wait until the next business day to be seen by your primary care physician.
However, this growing industry is also filled with misconceptions. With new articles about urgent care popping up every day and new research coming out almost every week, it cannot be easy to stay on top of things. To help you better understand, our expert urgent care providers at DOCS Urgent Care & Primary Care Fairfield share some common myths about urgent care – and why they are so.
Some people may shy away from seeking treatment at an urgent care center because they believe it will be more expensive than seeing their regular doctor. In reality, that is not the case. The price of an urgent care visit is typically comparable to—or even lower than—the cost of an ER visit. In addition, most insurance plans cover urgent care visits just as they would a regular doctor’s office visit.
Another myth about urgent care is that you can only go if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Urgent care centers are equipped to handle a wide range of non-emergency illnesses and injuries, including colds, flu, bronchitis, ear infections, sprains, and fractures. Many people use urgent care centers as their regular source of medical treatment because they offer extended hours and shorter wait times than traditional doctor’s offices.
There is also a common misconception that urgent care centers only treat children. While it’s true that many parents take their kids to urgent care when they’re sick or injured, these centers can treat patients of all ages—from infants to seniors. So whether you’re feeling under the weather or your child has come down with a cold, know that urgent care can provide the quick and convenient medical treatment you need.
While many urgent care centers are great for treating sprained ankles and cuts, they’re also equipped to handle a full range of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, from sinus infections to broken bones and even concussions.
If you have a sudden injury or illness that didn’t happen over time, like a broken leg or a sudden onset of symptoms like a high fever, nausea, vomiting, or a seizure, you want to go to the ER. Those types of injuries and illnesses will worsen if you don’t get treatment immediately, so ER doctors can help you and give you medication to ease the pain and stop the problem from getting worse.
Urgent care centers are designed to treat you right away as well, but they are better equipped to deal with problems that have been going on for a while, like a cough that won’t go away or a rash that keeps popping up.
The goal of any urgent care center is to diagnose and treat you quickly, but many also offer same-day diagnoses. That being said, the staff at an urgent care center should be able to treat your symptoms as quickly as possible so you can get home and rest. If your symptoms are serious enough that you need a diagnosis, you may have to get a referral to see a specialist for treatment. Be aware that some urgent care centers may offer same-day diagnoses, but you may incur a charge for this service.
Urgent care centers have been a staple of city life for decades, but these facilities are slowly making their way into the suburbs and rural areas. While larger cities will always have more urgent care centers than smaller cities, the number of these clinics is growing in all areas of the country. You can use a healthcare website like Healthcare.gov to find an urgent care center near you.
All urgent care centers are not equal. Some are better equipped to treat certain illnesses and injuries than others. It’s important to research before you visit an urgent care center to know you’re going to the center that can treat your specific condition. If you have a serious illness or injury and are unsure which urgent care center to go to, you can call your insurance company and ask which facility is best equipped to treat your illness or injury.
Urgent care centers are a great option for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries that won’t wait until you can see your primary care physician. They are equipped to handle a wide range of conditions and can diagnose and treat you quickly. While it’s best to see your primary care physician for long-lasting issues like chronic pain or recurring infections, urgent care centers are a great place to go for sudden injuries and illnesses that cannot wait.
Next time you or a loved one needs medical treatment for a minor illness or injury, don’t hesitate to seek an urgent care center near you. With extended hours and shorter wait times than traditional doctor’s offices, urgent care in Fairfield, CT, offers convenient access to high-quality medical care when you need it most — myths are damned! DOCS Urgent Care & Primary Care Fairfield is open seven days a week with extended hours to serve the community. We offer convenient online scheduling and accept most major insurances. Walk-ins are always welcome!
During this surge in COVID-19 cases, our primary focus is meeting the high demand for tests, and we are seeing higher than usual wait times. This means we are unable to answer most phone calls. Please know that our teams are working very hard during this time to care for as many patients as safely as possible. Please click the button below for answers to common questions. We appreciate your understanding.