What Is the Purpose of Urgent Care?

With all of the changes in the way health care is given and covered by insurance, many people are incredibly confused about getting treatment. After all, what used to bring us to an emergency room may no longer be an appropriate issue. The high fever, the mild abrasion from a fall or even the suspicious stomach pain may not be viewed as an actual emergency. Instead, it might be best left to professionals in urgent care centers.

So, what is the function of the different urgent care centers popping up in many areas? It is not, according to the experts at Mount Sinai in NY, a place to get treatment for “a heart attack or serious head injury” That, they say, is for the emergency room. Essentially, if an injury or illness is not life-threatening, and can even wait until the next day, it is the proper issue for the medical professionals at urgent care centers.

The purpose of these centers is to offer you similar care to what you would get from a PCP or primary care physician, but usually without the longer wait for an appointment, or if their office is closed. It is helpful to have some examples of what the best centers treat. For instance, a brief list of the non-life threatening issues they would typically treat includes:

  • Falls and accidents
  • Cuts that do not need stitches
  • Respiratory issues such as mild asthma
  • Diagnostics (including lab and x-ray work)
  • Eye redness or irritation that won’t go away
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Fractures of fingers or toes
  • Back pain
  • Severe coughing or throat pain
  • Skin infections or rashes
  • UTI
  • Dehydration brought on by vomiting or diarrhea

As you can start to see, there is a lot of difference between the issues treated as emergencies and those viewed more as needing urgent care. For instance, emergency rooms see broken bones, wounds needing stitches, convulsions or seizures, people who are unconscious, any uncontrolled bleeding, instances of poisoning, severe pain, and more. It is usually the job of the urgent care provider to see someone who can wait a day without any undue problems.

If you are in St Augustine, FL, area and in need of the kind of reliable treatment that only urgent care centers provide, the Injury Care Center is available to offer the kind of treatment needed for conditions that are non-life threatening but still in need of care.