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Did you know that according to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2019 there were over 900.6 million outpatient visits to doctors in the United States? And out of those visits, almost one-third were for an urgent care reason? That means that if you’re feeling ill and don’t want to wait hours in a hospital emergency room, or if your regular doctor’s office is closed, it’s a good idea to find an urgent care center near you.

While visiting an urgent care clinic may be a good option for some people, there are also some downsides to consider as well. So, in this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of visiting an urgent care center so that you can decide whether it’s right for you.

Pros of Visiting an Urgent Care Clinic

There are several advantages to visiting an urgent care clinic rather than a traditional doctor’s office or the emergency room. Here are some of the pros:

1. Convenience

Because urgent care clinics are typically open 7 days a week, often with extended hours, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. And since they don’t require appointments, you can usually just walk in.

For instance, if you start feeling sick late at night or on the weekend, you can just go to an urgent care clinic rather than wait until your doctor’s office opens. However, be aware that some urgent care clinics may have shorter hours on weekends or holidays. Still, most will be open and available to see you when you need them.

2. Fast Care

Since urgent care clinics are designed for patients who have an immediate health concern, chances are that it won’t take long for a doctor at one of these centers to see you. Many offices even have separate waiting areas for walk-in patients so that they can be seen more quickly.

And remember, if you go to an urgent care clinic instead of the ER, you’ll likely avoid the long wait times that are common in many hospitals’ emergency rooms.

3. Less Expensive than an ER

In most cases, visiting an urgent care clinic will cost less than going to the emergency room. For example, many insurance plans have a deductible for the year that they require you to pay before they’ll start covering your medical costs. So, if you have a high deductible on your insurance plan, then visiting an urgent care clinic could help you save some money.

4. Smaller Facilities

Compared to a hospital emergency room, urgent care clinics tend to be smaller so that they can provide more personalized treatment for patients who are sick. This also often translates into shorter wait times and less stress overall for patients who need medical attention.

5. Great for Minor Emergencies

Urgent care clinics are a great option for many medical issues that aren’t life-threatening, such as the flu, fever, or minor cuts or bruises. If you have anything more serious than these conditions, it’s best to go to the ER so that you can get the specialized care and monitoring that you need.

For instance, many urgent care clinics won’t have the same types of specialized equipment or highly trained medical staff that you’ll find in a hospital emergency room. So, if your condition is serious, then it’s important to get the right level of care as soon as possible.

6. Can Refer You to a Specialist

If you do have a more serious condition that requires specialist care, the staff at an urgent care clinic can refer you to the right doctor. They can also provide you with any information or paperwork that you’ll need to see the specialist.

However, it’s also important to note that some urgent care clinics may not have a large network of specialists, so you’ll want to check before you visit one.

7. On-Site Labs and X-Rays

Many urgent care clinics have on-site labs and X-rays so that patients can get the tests they need without having to go to a separate facility. This is especially convenient if you’re not feeling well and just want to get home as soon as possible.

Even if an urgent care clinic doesn’t have a lab on-site, they can usually still order the tests you need and have them sent to a nearby facility.

8. Can prescribe medication

If you need medication, the staff at an urgent care clinic can prescribe it for you. This is especially convenient if your regular doctor isn’t available and you can’t get to the pharmacy right away.

Not only can urgent care clinics prescribe medication, but they can also provide you with any other treatments that you may need, such as stitches for a cut or splint for a broken bone.

9. Extended Hours

One of the biggest advantages of urgent care clinics is that they often have extended hours. This means that you can usually get medical attention even if your regular doctor’s office is closed.

So, if you’re feeling sick or injured after-hours or on the weekend, an urgent care clinic can be a great option. Just keep in mind that there may be special hours for walk-in patients compared to those who have an appointment scheduled.

10. Provides a wide range of services

In addition to diagnosing and treating patients, urgent care clinics can also provide a wide range of other services. For instance, many of these clinics offer vaccinations, physicals, and even sports physicals.

So, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all your medical needs, an urgent care clinic is a great option.

11. Close to home or work

Another advantage of urgent care clinics is that they’re often close to home or work. This means that you won’t have to travel far to get the medical attention you need. And if you do have to go to the ER, you can usually get there much faster if it’s close by.

The closer an urgent care clinic is to you, the easier it will be to get there when you need to. And if you have a regular doctor’s office that’s far away, an urgent care clinic can be a great alternative when you’re sick or injured and can’t make the trip.

12. More affordable than the ER

And while you may have to pay a copay or out-of-pocket expenses, you won’t have to pay the high emergency room fees. So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to the ER, an urgent care clinic maybe your best option.

Overall, there are many advantages of visiting an urgent care clinic for your medical needs. Whether you need to see a doctor after-hours or on the weekend, you can get quick and affordable medical attention from one of these clinics. Just be sure to check with your insurance provider before you visit to see if urgent care clinics are covered.

Cons of Visiting an Urgent Care Clinic

While there are many advantages of visiting an urgent care clinic, there are also some disadvantages. Here are five of the biggest cons of using these clinics for your medical needs.

1. Longer wait times

One of the biggest disadvantages of urgent care clinics is that they often have longer wait times than regular doctor’s offices. This can be especially frustrating if you’re feeling sick or injured and just want to get your medical attention right away.

2. Limited staff

Another disadvantage of urgent care clinics is that they often have fewer doctors on staff than regular doctor’s offices. So, if you need a referral or another type of specialty treatment, an urgent care clinic may not be able to provide it.

3. Less access to records

As urgent care clinics are often run by a separate company than your regular doctor’s office, you won’t have access to the same electronic health record system as you would at your doctor’s office. So, if you need or want to view your medical records, an urgent care clinic may not be the best option.

4. Not all clinics are open 24 hours

While many urgent care clinics are open 24 hours, not all of them are. So, if you need to see a doctor in the middle of the night or on a holiday, you may not be able to find an urgent care clinic that’s open.

5. May not have same-day appointments available

Another disadvantage of urgent care clinics is that they may not offer same-day appointments. So, if you need to see a doctor right away, an urgent care clinic may not be the best option for you.

While there are many benefits of visiting an urgent care clinic for your medical needs, there are also some disadvantages. Before choosing an urgent care clinic, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of this type of medical facility so that you can make the best choice for your health. And if you need medical attention right away, don’t hesitate to visit an urgent care clinic today. Your health is too important to put off!

How to Make the Most of Visiting an Urgent Care Clinic

If you do choose to visit an urgent care clinic for your medical needs, there are some steps you can take to make the most of your visit. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of visiting an urgent care clinic.

1. Know what type of insurance you have and what it covers

Before you visit an urgent care clinic, it’s important to know what type of insurance you have and what it covers. This way, you can be prepared for any out-of-pocket costs you may incur.

2. Bring your ID and insurance card

When you visit an urgent care clinic, be sure to bring your ID and insurance card with you. This will help the clinic staff verify your insurance information and assist you in any way they can.

3. Be prepared to wait

As mentioned above, urgent care clinics often have longer wait times than regular doctor’s offices. So, if you’re going to an urgent care clinic, be sure to bring something to pass the time while you wait, such as a book or your phone.

4. Bring a list of questions

If you have any questions about your health or the treatments you’re receiving, be sure to bring a list of questions with you to the clinic. This way, you can be sure to get all the information you need before leaving.

5. Follow up with your regular doctor

After you’ve visited an urgent care clinic, be sure to follow up with your regular doctor. This way, they can be aware of any changes in your health and make sure you’re on the right track to recovery.

6. Consider a primary care doctor

If you’re looking for a more convenient and comprehensive healthcare experience, you may want to consider getting a primary care doctor. This way, you can receive both urgent and routine medical care in the same place.

Conclusion

There are many benefits of visiting an urgent care clinic for your medical needs, including the ability to get same-day appointments and being able to view your medical records. However, there are also some disadvantages of going to an urgent care clinic, such as having longer wait times and not being able to access all of your medical records. Whether you need urgent care or routine care, consider visiting an urgent care clinic today for the best possible healthcare experience.​

Looking for the Best Urgent Care Near Me in Bend, Oregon?

If you need to see a doctor but your regular physician’s office is closed, consider Mountain Medical Urgent Care. We offer same-day appointments and our clinic is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also accept most insurance plans, so you can be sure to receive the best possible care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Your health is our top priority!

When to Contact Us?

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