Sometimes, when you need medical help for an injury or illness, it can be difficult to choose between urgent care and primary care. Most times deciding between them is a matter of timing. Knowing the differences between primary care and urgent care can help you decide the right option for you. Read on to learn…
5 Common Minor Injuries Seen at Urgent Care
An urgent care center works to treat medical problems that require prompt attention but are not life-threatening. Minor injuries such as fractures and cuts are among the problems that urgent care centers work to treat. Individuals may choose urgent care if the injury cannot wait for a doctor’s appointment. Another reason that people may choose urgent care is if the injury happens after their primary doctors’ offices have closed for the day.
While individuals with severe burns need to go to the emergency room, an urgent care center can help treat more minor burns. Individuals with first-degree and small second-degree burns can choose urgent care instead of the emergency room, which can allow them to be seen faster. Second-degree burns affect both the inner and outer layers of the skin and cause blistering. Doctors at urgent care centers may use an antibiotic cream or clean the burn to prevent infection.
2. Bone fractures
While a fracture requires prompt medical attention to set the bone, it is not life-threatening. However, waiting for an appointment at a primary care provider may be too long. Symptoms of fractures may include bleeding, bruising or swelling where the fractured bone is. If the fracture is near a joint, the joint’s movement may be restricted. Doctors at urgent care centers can diagnose and treat this type of injury.
Whiplash most often happens after a car accident. It occurs when the neck moves rapidly and forcefully, causing injury to the sensitive muscles and tendons. Symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain, stiffness and headaches. An urgent care center can help treat whiplash with exercises and pain medications.
If a cut is not too deep, an individual can go to an urgent care center. For example, individuals with cuts that are dirty should seek medical attention at an urgent care facility. The doctors will be able to clean the cut without causing further injury. If the cut is from an animal or human bite, doctors at urgent care centers will be able to clean any bacteria from the cut.
After a fall, it is a good idea to get checked out at an urgent care center to ensure there were no serious injuries. For example, a person may suffer from a concussion, a broken bone, a strained joint or a fracture from a fall. The pain may not start to develop until several hours after the fall. Urgent care centers can take X-rays to ensure there are no broken bones.
Visit urgent care for minor injuries
From burns to whiplash to falls, urgent care centers can offer quicker care for minor injuries than emergency rooms. According to the UCAOA 2014 Urgent Care Benchmarking Study, choosing urgent care over the emergency room saves individuals about three hours of time and a considerable amount of money. When in doubt about a minor injury, it is a good idea to choose to go to urgent care. This will help prevent a minor injury from becoming a major injury.
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