Urgent care clinic is an important healthcare resource for entire population of the world. Every single day around 2 new walk-in clinics are opening up worldwide.

According to estimation thousands of individuals receive the assistance of urgent care clinics every week. The emergency and preventative care services by urgent care units are cost effective and also save the time of visiting an emergency room in a hospital.

Although it is difficult to access in which situations you should visit an urgent care center or an emergency room however there are some specific things on which it depends. In this article you will get a description on where you can go for the care or services you need.

If an injury or an illness seems is apparently not life threatening but cannot wait for the next day a visit to the urgent care center is needed. However, an emergency situation like one where a serious injury to the head occurs or a patient seems to be suffering through a heart attack you should visit the hospital  for the emergency services of an emergency room (ER).

Urgent care centers provide the benefits of easy accessibility to a quality healthcare especially at times times when you cannot visit your primary care doctor’s offices.  The medical expertise, commitment and personalized attention of the urgent care medical experts ensure the fulfillment of urgent health needs of the patients at any time either day or night, or any day of week the whether it’s a weekend or a holidays. These facilities provide a 24 hour urgent care.

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

Whether to visit an emergency room or an urgent care facility can be decided by considering the following information. An emergency condition generally entails that an individual is in danger of permanent impairment or the condition is threatening to his or her life. In such situations the immediate thing to do is to call 911 and tell them about the condition.

Some of the conditions that can be called as an emergency situation include:

  • A newborn baby (less than three months) is having a fever
  • Patient is convulsing or having seizures
  • The person has lost consciousness
  • A fracture where you can see that the bone is protruding through skin (compound fracture)
  • Gunshot wound
  • An individual has been wounded by a deep knife
  • If a person is bleeding uncontrollably
  • If an individual has been poisoned
  • Problems with pregnancy
  • Severe head or neck injury
  • If a person is burnt
  • If someone is having symptoms of heart attack like prolonged chest pain
  • If a person has difficulty breathing
  • In case of a Stroke
  • If someone is acting suicidal

In comparison to emergency condition, urgent medical condition is the one that is not life threatening but does not to be treated within 24 hours. Some of the circumstances when an urgent care is needed include:

  • If you are having fever, flu, sore throat or cough
  • Wounds that need stitching
  • If a person falls and injures himself
  • Irritable or red eye
  • If a person is having a mild or moderate asthma attack
  • Minor fractures
  • Back problems
  • Muscle spasm
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Sprains or strains
  • Diarrhea that need rehydration
  • Urinary tract infections

For these conditions call an urgent care facility which will visit you and help you treat the condition within 24 hours without you needing you to visit in ER.[i]

Urgent Care Services

Most urgent care facilities provide different urgent services some of which are stated below:


These facilities can help you get your flu shot or any other specific vaccination you might need. For some of the vaccinations such as flu shots you might not require any prior scheduled appointment.

Non-life threatening problems

As already stated above, an urgent care clinic is the best place for getting treated for most non-life threatening conditions. These clinics have licensed medical staff including physicians and nurses that can provide you with quality assistance whenever you need.
Minor physical injuries

The urgent care walk in clinics are you best option if you need medical assistance for burn wounds, sprains, minor bleeding wounds, minor fractures or lacerations.

Physical fitness exams

An urgent care clinic will not only be helpful in treating your illnesses but also provide you with wellness visits. You can schedule appointments in advance or even visit without an appointment to get your physical fitness exams

STD testing

One of the most used services of urgent care clinics is the provision of STD testing. They offer easy STD or STI testing as they have labs which are open 24 hours a day and 8 days a week. So however busy your schedule is you can still get tested out whenever you get free.[ii]

Urgent care near me

It is very important to choose an urgent care center that is near you. Another factor to consider while choosing is that the urgent care clinic accepts your insurance plan for health so the out-of-pocket burden is reduced. Also the urgent care must be the one that has expertise about what area you need care in.  For instance not all clinics are specialized in giving pediatric care so bringing your child to this clinic will only waste your time.

Tips for Visiting Urgent Care

Most of the urgent care clinics do not keep record of the patient’s history as regular hospitals or doctor’s office do. So you need to bring your medical records and information about your health insurance with you when you visit an urgent care center.

Also keep in mind to bring any prescription detail that you are using at a time.

Although you do not need to make an appointment before you visit an urgent care center however checking in online in advance will definitely save your time.

Bringing an ID with you is a must as the urgent care center may need to verify your identity.[iii]

[i] https://www.mountsinai.org/locations/urgent-care/what-is-urgent-care

[ii] https://afcurgentcareportland.com/blog/short-list-most-common-services-provided-urgent-care-clinics

[iii] https://www.healthline.com/health/right-care-right-time/know-before-you-go#what-to-bring