One of the most frightening situations that can arise for anyone is a medical emergency. In the USA, this sparks a particular set of fears especially given the high cost of healthcare. Outside of socio-economic circumstances, however, the total cost of your emergency medical treatments depends on a number of circumstances.
As such, it might be important to consider an urgent care center instead of an emergency room. Such centers will likely cost less and are still covered by insurance and Medicare. If you remain unconvinced and are still full of questions, read on as we answer some of these questions for you.
Can I set up an appointment, or is it just walk-in?
The beauty of these facilities is that they accept walk-in patients, but it is fully possible to make an appointment just to ensure that your situation is addressed promptly.
How do I know which one is the right one for me?
The hours of operation, your location, and the quality of care are some of the practical concerns you have to take into consideration when selecting an urgent care centre. Besides those things, it is important to know if the facility is certified. The final concern is the levels of care it can provide. The websites of such care centers often list the expertise of their on-site staff.
What about price?
Urgent care centers are significantly less expensive than emergency rooms. In many cases, they cost only a fraction of the cost of an equivalent emergency room visit. However, it is important to weigh the severity of the condition because in some cases, going straight to the emergency room is the best decision.
When should I go to an urgent care center instead of an emergency room?
Urgent care facilities are best for conditions that are acute and intense but not immediately life-threatening. They are good for catching symptoms and conditions before they get worse and more dangerous. Some of these might be sore throat, fever, vomiting, rash, or mild asthma.
When do I need an emergency room?
We have mentioned before, however, that should conditions become critical to head straight for the emergency room. Some of these symptoms are:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
- Suspected poisoning
- Accident or trauma with threat to life or limb
- Severe depression
- Uncontrollable bleeding.
Can these facilities prescribe medication?
The short answer: yes. These facilities are normally staffed by a variety of doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Any of these medical professionals are licensed to prescribe medicine in all fifty states. This license, however, might be limited depending on their position in the medical field.
Some examples of what urgent care professionals can prescribe are short-term allergy prescriptions, asthma medication, blood pressure medicines, antivirals, antibiotics, and so on.
When it comes to the subject of your health, it is important to know every option you might have. In the case of certain medical issues, it might be more financially sound to choose an urgent care center instead of an emergency room.
If you’re looking for an urgent care center in New Jersey right now, give us at Agile Urgent Care a message. We offer urgent diagnosis and treatment for both adults and children, and also offer a full range of occupational medicine services.