Urgent care clinics seek to provide immediate comfort and relief to each one of their patients. By the looks of things, they may be nothing more than an affordable substitute for Emergency rooms. But a sneak peek into the typical day reveals a lot more.
Much beyond “First-Aid”
The doctors in urgent care clinics spend the majority of their time encountering patients face-to-face. The remaining time is divided between reviewing test reports, documenting medical profiles, and interacting with other doctors. The fact that a typical urgent care clinic has all the major test facilities- CT scans, Ultrasound images, X-Ray, test labs-helps doctors come up with an immediate fix for non-threatening emergencies.
At face value, documentation may just be a “legal formality”, but a major part of the doctor’s job is to make each word count. Doctors in urgent care clinics need to record all the tangible data leading up to the best course of action in a particular scenario.
Plagued With Misconceptions
Misconceptions abound, the major one being “urgent care clinics are an unreliable, me-too versions of emergency rooms.”Granted, emergency rooms are the best place to visit for life-threatening emergencies. But if somebody walks in there with a minor issue that can wait, he or she will be asked to wait. When it comes to wait time, emergency rooms put the very sick, almost dying cases first.
On the other hand, urgent care clinics in Centreville, Washington DC and New York, etc. are walk-in-walk-out clinics where you will not have to wait forever for a minor sprain. The doctors there are just as qualified as those in ER’s, only much quicker to respond.
What Sets Them Apart From Other Medical Centers?
Urgent care clinics try to connect with patients, thereby educating them on the issue at hand. Top urgent care centers make sure that a patient is able to understand the worst diagnosis and assimilate the suggested treatment. All the recommendations are fully backed by research and practical know-how. To keep medical integrity, the doctors in urgent care clinics refrain from commenting on what is beyond their scope, and offer their honest advice on the immediate next step.
Not only the doctors, but also the entire staff are focused on providing immediate relief to a patient and draft a plan for a healthier existence. Unlike primary care clinics, urgent care clinics do not provide long- term care, nor do they handle cases on a longitudinal basis. Their sole focus is on the most urgent issue at hand.
ERs Don’t Offer Everything
The biggest issue that emergency rooms face is the overall patient dissatisfaction. Research suggests that nationally only 80-85% patients are happy with the attention they receive at ER’s. The remaining complain about the wait times and work up times, disproportionate to the seriousness of their issues. Also, let us not forget the steep bills with all the hidden frills. This is not to say that emergency rooms are inadequate. Let it be known that they are your best bet in case of an almost fatal emergency. But for prompt attention to non-fatal emergencies, you want to go to an urgent care (http://www.ehow.com/about_5098326_urgent-care.html).
How You Can Make the Most of Your Visits
First off, you need to make a list of things that an urgent care clinic typically deals with. There is an overwhelming chance that you will be able to relate a few items to you and/or your family members. Next, you need to scout for the best urgent care clinics near your home and work. Searching a phone book in the middle of an asthma attack hardly sounds like an adventure. Also, it makes sense to keep all your family’s medical records-history, medications, health problems, allergies- filed, so that you are not exactly clueless when describing the pain to your doctor. A crisp, honest, and explicit description of what brings you there will help you a long away.