The number of urgent care facilities is growing all around the country. These medical offices are a popular alternative to a hospital emergency room for non-life threatening medical conditions. These facilities are staffed by qualified professionals, such as doctors, physician assistants, registered nurses, phlebotomists, and x-ray technicians. Let’s explore four of the emergencies that would warrant a trip to urgent care.
Flu or Common Cold
If you are experiencing fever, aches, and upper respiratory discomfort, the staff at an urgent care facility will be able to examine you and test for the flu or a bacterial infection. The flu test is generally a simple oral swab. Blood might be drawn to identify a bacterial infection.
The doctor will be able to prescribe anti-viral or antibiotic medications. They will also make recommendations for recovery at home and will likely schedule a follow-up visit.
Whether it is a rash, a reaction to an insect sting or bite, or something you ate, fast treatment for the allergic response is a common service. Urgent care facilities are generally equipped with antihistamines, steroids, and adrenalin to quickly address an allergy. The staff will keep an eye on you until the inflammation has calmed down and you are out of danger.
Minor Cuts and Sprains
If you have accidentally cut yourself and aren’t sure if you need stitches, an urgent care clinic can quickly assess the severity of the injury, clean the wound, and suture a minor cut, if needed. You will be sent home with instructions to care for the wound with follow-up recommendations.
If you or your child twisted an ankle or dislocated a finger, an x-ray can be taken to determine if there is a fracture or break. If not, you can be treated with splints or bandages and sent home with anti-inflammatory medication instructions. If a fracture is found, you will be referred to a specialist or the hospital
Vomiting and Diarrhea Care and Testing
Many people, especially those with a stomach bug or food poisoning, can become extremely dehydrated. If you have been vomiting or have diarrhea, chances are you are experiencing dehydration and loss of electrolytes. Urgent care offices are equipped to administer emergency IV hydration therapy.
If diarrhea is persistent, you might be asked to leave a sample that will be sent to a lab for parasite or bacterial testing. The results generally are back the next day, and you will get a call.