Family Urgent Care The Benefits of Taking Your Child to a Center Near You
Every week, people visit urgent care centers close to where they live or work. The Urgent Care Association of America reported that this amounts to about three million patients a week. Rather than visit a a traditional emergency room when it’s unnecessary, these patients realize that their healthcare issues can be treated at an urgent care clinic instead.
A private study was conducted by Milliman on emergency room episodes within the United States. They determined that approximately 44% to 65% of the issues that were treated in hospital emergency rooms could have been handled at urgent care facilities. It’s also important to note that 65% of these urgent care centers always have an on-site physician available during their hours of operation. Furthermore, it usually takes less than 15 minutes for patients to be seen by a physician or physician’s assistant at roughly 60% of these centers.
Since some centers also provide 24 hour pediatric urgent care, this is a more convenient option for parents. On an annual basis, people in the United States get roughly one billion colds. While some children may not catch colds as often as others, the average child will catch between six and ten every year.
Another common illness for children is ear infections. Before they turn three years of age, five out of every six children will have had a least one ear infection. Other children get ear infections more often, which is the case with 40% that will have had three or more by the time they turn three.
The 2014 National Health Review Interview Survey provided data on other issues that children experience within the United States. These issues can also be treated at an urgent care center:
- Hay fever: 8.4%
- Respiratory allergies: 10%
- Food allergies: 5.4%
- Skin allergies: 11.6%
If you’ve never been to an urgent care clinic, you may be asking the question, “What is urgent care?” Since many parents typically take their children to the hospital emergency room after hours, an urgent care clinic is a welcome alternative. In addition to the types of medical issues outlined above, an urgent care clinic can also treat other types of medical needs, such as sprains. If your child has sustained a bone fracture, this can be addressed by four out of five urgent care centers.
When you or your child become injured or ill, it makes sense to visit an urgent care center near you. At that time, you can ask the staff as well as your healthcare provider “What is urgent care?” They will be able to answer the question, “What is urgent care?” in even more detail. Remember that you and/or your child will be able to walk into a clinic and be seen by a physician or mid-level provider in less time than if you were to go to the emergency room. The cost for being seen at an urgent care center is also considerably less.