It’s happened to everyone. You have an injury that you can’t take care of on your own, but you don’t want to sit for two hours in the crowded ER. Or it’s the weekend, and you think you have food poisoning or a bad stomach flu, and you don’t want to wait until Monday to see your doctor. In these situations, where your physician’s office is closed, but your condition isn’t serious enough for the emergency room, a walk in clinic, or urgent care center, is a great option. Here are five reasons to consider going:
1. Convenient Hours
The majority (85 percent) of walk in clinics are open seven days a week, and even more (95 percent) close later than 7 p.m. Two thirds of urgent care centers are also open early, before 9 a.m. on weekdays. If you don’t want to miss work to see a doctor, you can go to an urgent care center before you go to work, or after you get done. You can also go on the weekends, and you never need to make an appointment.
2. Less Expensive Than The ER
Going to the emergency room when it isn’t necessary will cost patients an average of $784 more than going to a walk in clinic would cost. Services at a medical walk in clinic will only cost a modest copay: usually between $35 and $55.
3. Short Wait Times
Even though there are no appointments, about two thirds of urgent care centers have wait times that are less than 20 minutes. But if you go to a hospital for emergency care, there is a good chance you’ll have a two hour wait, or more, depending on what service you need, and how serious your condition is, compared to the other patients there.
4. Many Different Services Available
Family health clinics provide a lot of different types of services. Even if you don’t have an emergency, you can go to a walk in clinic for a quick medical service like STD testing. If you need to get tested right away, you can probably get it done more quickly at an urgent care center than you would if you had to call your doctor’s office to make an appointment.
5. They Are Prepared To Treat You
About 30 percent of the physicians that staff urgent care centers specialize in emergency medicine. The remainder specialize in family medicine or internal medicine. So whether you have an infection, an injury, a respiratory problem, or anything in between, you can be confident the clinic will have a doctor there who is prepared to treat you.