23 Nov Overview of Urgent Care in San Diego
Urgent Care refers to the type and setting of medical visit in an outpatient, ambulatory setting. It is a medical office-type setting for urgent and generally non-life threatening medical concerns separate from the traditional emergency room. Urgent Care medicine can help effectively address general yet urgent concerns- much like an emergency room- yet often save on healthcare costs and wait times.
The emergency department is generally thought of as the first portal of entry for health concerns, treating anyone and everyone with conditions ranging from simple to complex. However, visits to the Emergency department are often costly to both the health system as well as the individual patient.
Urgent Care visits aim to address acute health concerns that often do not require the high level of staffing, resources, time, and cost associated with emergency departments.
The purpose in utilizing Urgent Care services for your health needs is as a middle ground between medical visits that are not emergencies, and timely treatment of acute health concerns- while potentially avoiding a trip to the emergency department.
As an example, a patient having a cough with sinus congestion may visit an Urgent Care to receive common prescriptions for things like decongestants, symptomatic relief, or even antibiotics. Healthcare providers in Urgent Care visits are able to prescribe appropriate and effective assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and education. The decreased acuity of the encounter, however, is able to potentially save everyone time, valuable hospital resources and staff, avoid risks of infection, as well as higher medical bills of a hospital level encounter.
Urgent Care visits can effectively address many general health concerns, and are often appropriate for things like: Runny nose, cough, sinus infection, sore throat, mild wheezing, mild to moderate joint pain, muscle strain, diarrhea, constipation, urinary tract infections, rashes,
Upon visiting an urgent care, you can expect a similar check-in and waiting room experience similar to a traditional doctor’s office. Urgent Cares can be staffed with a variety of healthcare providers. Doctors, Nurse practitioners, Physician Assistants, Nurses, and technicians may all assist in your treatment.
Now, while these medical visits add an essential tool in providing for your health, keep in mind that not all health concerns may be best suited to an Urgent Care. If you have any doubt regarding the acuity of your condition, please let us make that assessment for you and take care of you in an Emergency Department.
In conclusion, through evaluation in Urgent Care, your health concerns can be quickly addressed with easier access and without a trip to a hospital. You can also receive a prescription, and gain valuable health education!