It does not seem that long ago that hospitals were local institutions catering to a single community. They were accessible and employed doctors who lived in—and were members of—the neighborhoods they served. If you needed stitches or had a sprained ankle, you can plan a visit to the emergency room with the expectation of receiving prompt, affordable care.
But times have changed. Nowadays, hospital emergency rooms are very busy places. They are usually understaffed and overburdened by severe cases that need immediate attention. If you show up at a modern-day emergency room with a less urgent health complaint such as a burn or sore throat, you will probably have to wait for a long time before seeing a physician.
That is where urgent care centers like ASP Health come in. We fill the gap between traditional hospital emergency rooms and doctor’s offices by providing walk-in care, longer hours, and the immediate treatment of urgent, but not life-threatening emergencies. At urgent care centers, you could see a provider without an appointment, just as you would at an ER. Plus, urgent care centers generally offer extended hours, 365 days a year (including most holidays) because they understand situations requiring medical attention do not always occur during business hours.
You should visit an urgent care center when you need medical attention for acute disease or injury. An acute condition is an ailment or injury that requires attention but is not quite severe enough for a trip to the emergency room (if your primary care doctor is unavailable).
Urgent care centers are generally staffed by physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, radiological technologists, and front desk receptionists. Their staff could treat fractures, provide IV fluids, and usually have X-rays and lab processing on-site. Many urgent care centers also provide additional services, like sports and school physicals, travel vaccinations, and occupational medicine.
Over the last twenty years, there has been a growing demand for the valuable and necessary services that urgent care centers provide. According to the latest figures, there are more than 9,000 urgent care facilities in the United States, with hundreds more opening each year.
While some urgent care centers are hospital-affiliated, you will find just as many that are independently owned and operated. Still, when you visit an urgent care center, you could be confident that the doctors and other medical professionals on staff have received the same training as hospital physicians. In reality, most urgent care providers are trained in emergency medicine, family medicine, and other specialties.
Urgent Care walk-in clinics can treat conditions like:
Urgent care centers deliver immediate medical care at a substantially lower cost by offering patients only the care they need. Emergency rooms are equipped to treat life-threatening situations, but the high cost of using a facility designed for that level of medical care is reflected in their bill. As a result, the treatment costs at urgent care centers are almost always substantially lower.
In addition, urgent care centers also free up emergency rooms from cases that are not life-threatening or emergent. That means emergency room staff could focus on patients who truly need immediate, life-saving care.Book an appointment