When there is a family medical emergency, sometimes people are unsure of where to take their loved one. Waiting in the emergency room for hours for something minor can be a hassle and very expensive. Below we are going over urgent care services and when it may be best to go to your local urgent care office instead. Colorado Primary Healthcare offers urgent care appointments for your convenience. To schedule an appointment, click here or call 303-703-8583.
It’s 7 p.m. on a Friday night when you hear what sounds like a tumble or fall, followed by a loud shriek. Your five-year-old is crying, holding his wrist. It appears to be injured or, worse still, fractured.
You know your child needs immediate care – and your doctor’s office is closed. Where do you go for the care your little one needs?
In the past year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 93.6 percent of children had contact with a health care professional. Most of these cases were for preventive care and regular checkups. But many visits were for illnesses or injuries – which are generally unexpected, out of our control and may occur after regular office hours.
Urgent care centers and emergency rooms are among the most commonly used places for treating injuries and illnesses. The trouble is, when your child is crying and you’re in a hurry to make a decision, it’s a difficult time to consider the difference between the two. While they share similarities, emergency rooms and urgent care centers are not the same.
URGENT CARE SERVICES: YOUR BEST OPTION FOR MINOR ILLNESSES AND INJURIES
Urgent care clinics treat minor illnesses and injuries. But they’re not intended for serious injuries or illnesses, or any condition that may be life-threatening. This line can be blurry, so here are a few things urgent care centers commonly treat:
- Minor fractures, sprains, strains
- Minor bumps, scrapes, rashes, cuts, stitches, burns, etc.
- Fever, cough, sore throat, ear/sinus pain, general cold/flu symptoms
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Seasonal allergies, eye irritation, mild asthma
- Basic lab tests such as flu or strep tests
Because urgent care centers focus on non-life-threatening symptoms, they generally keep standard business hours. Indigo Urgent Care, for example, is open 8 am to 8 pm daily. Urgent care clinics accept walk-ins and most insurance policies, but shouldn’t be treated as an emergency room, 24-hour pharmacy or in-patient care unit.
And, since most urgent cares have a website, it’s always a good idea to check on hours, services and whether they accept your insurance, before you visit. Some urgent cares also offer a flat-fee for those who don’t have insurance.
Urgent cares also work hand-in-hand with area emergency rooms. If your condition is more serious or complex, you will be transferred to the closest emergency room.