Many families are now using urgent care centers for routine services such as physical examinations and immunizations. Urgent care facilities are frequently open on a 24-hour basis, making it easier for families to schedule appointments. Most family practices are only open on weekdays when many people are working and unable to take time off for a medical appointment.
Walk-In Appointments are Available
An urgent care offers vital family care by offering walk-in appointments when an infant requires their childhood immunizations or a teenager needs a physical examination to participate in an athletic program. With families moving frequently from one city to another, they may not have a family practice physician available. Some family practice offices only accept new patients when a facility’s patient load drops significantly. By the time a family practice accepts a new patient, they may need to move again to a different location.
Registered Nurses and Physician Work at Urgent Care Facilities
When families want to use urgent care, it is important to understand that they should not expect treatment for a life-threatening condition. For emergencies, it is essential to contact paramedics instead. If a patient undergoing an examination at an urgent care facility requires surgery, then the physicians will contact ambulance drivers to provide transportation to the nearest hospital. However, most families visiting an urgent care center are able to receive medical treatment from knowledgeable physicians and registered nurses.
Types of Services Provided
Urgent care centers can provide a variety of services, including:
• Laboratory tests – testing for strep throat or abnormal blood glucose levels
• Immunizations – influenza, tetanus or measles vaccines
• X-rays – checking for broken bones or swallowed objects
• Applying casts – setting or wrapping a broken bone
• Stitches – stitching lacerations on the body or face
• Diagnosing illnesses – determining if someone has appendicitis or food poisoning
• Treating infection – cleaning wounds or prescribing antibiotics
When looking for an urgent care facility that is similar to a family medical practice, determine if it has adult and pediatric specialists available along with the proper equipment for treating children and adults.
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