Urgent care centers have skyrocketed in popularity since they were first brought into being back in the year of 2000. Nowadays, nearly 20 years later, more than one quarter of the population has visited an urgent care center over the course of the past two years alone. In just one week, more than three million people will seek care at an urgent care location for some ailment or another. And up to 20,000 doctors are now employed at such urgent care clinics as well, providing comprehensive medical care for all who are in need of it. And urgent care centers can treat a wide array of medical conditions, only some of which we have listed here.
1. Fracture care
Urgent care centers can overwhelmingly provide care for minor fracture. Up to 80% of all urgent care centers can provide minor fracture treatment, including imaging and setting of the bone in question. As only around 3% of all urgent care cases will ever need to be transferred to the local emergency room, most fractures will be able to receive treatment at the local walk in urgent care clinic.
2. Ankle sprains
Though ankle sprains are often minor in nature, not all are. Some, in fact, can even be just as serious as fractures and can require medical assessment and advisement. As up to 25,000 sprained ankles, mostly caused by the inward rolling of the ankle, occur in the span of just one day, the vast majority of urgent care locations are adept at providing such medical treatment needed in such cases.
3. Flu prevention
The flu is a common ailment sustained by many people in the United States. During any given flu season, as much as 20% of the population, a full one fifth, can become infected. Even during more mild years, still at least 5% of the total population will come down with the flu. And while the flu is not always going to be a serious medical concern for each and every person, it can be. Depending on risk factors and the strain of flu in question, complications like pneumonia and sepsis can develop. Fortunately, urgent care clinics throughout the country can provide flu shots to most people over the age of six months, helping just about everyone to make themselves even a little bit safer against the threat of the flu.
Many urgent care centers (around 70% of them as of the current date) can also provide IV fluids for those who are in need of them. Getting dehydrated is a real risk for many illnesses, including that of food poisoning. Unfortunately, up to 3,000 people will succumb to food poisoning and die from it here in the United States over the course of a year, often from complications related to dehydration. For many people, this could have been avoided entirely. Fortunately, there are as many as 48 million people who get food poisoning in this country over the course of a single year. In the vast majority of cases, the food poisoning is not fatal, in part thanks to IV fluids received in urgent care centers throughout the country.
5. Skin care
There are many issues that can befall your skin. Poison ivy contact is one of them, thanks to the prevalence of poison ivy and its ability to be found in every single one of the continental United States. For many people, poison ivy is quite painful indeed – and quite frightening, if you don’t know what it is. Having it assessed at one of the walk-in clinics in your area is something that can help to assure you that you are not in danger. You might even be prescribed something to reduce the discomfort and pain while you heal.
At the end of the day, urgent care centers provide a truly great resource for all kinds of medical needs. While you should certainly go to the emergency room when a true medical emergency is taking place, your local urgent care center is likely to be able to handle just about everything else that you might deal with.