Urgent Care Like a Hospital?
When faced with a life-threatening emergency, you should defiantly visit a hospital ER or an independent ER like http://bellaireer.com/. However, if you have an illness that does not have any immediate life-threatening implications, you should go to the urgent care center. Here we are going to understand the similarities and differences of hospitals and the urgent care center.
Similarities between Hospitals and the Urgent Care Facility
Your insurer will still cover you depending on the facility you visit. Thus, at some hospitals, just like at some urgent care centers you will not get insurance cover. This will usually depend on the kind of agreement the insurer has with the facility. It is thus important for you to look for a facility, which is covered by your insurer. This could help to keep your cost of treatment low.
At both of these facilities, you can still get access to lab facilities and other testing facilities. For instance, most urgent care facilities will have an x-ray, MRI, CT Scans, blood work and other equipment required to make a diagnosis.
In case you visit an urgent care center or a hospital, you will have access to a qualified physician. It is the reason why people opt for a hospital visit. However, they may not know that most urgent care centers will usually have a doctor available at all times.
Differences between the Hospital and the Urgent Care Centers
Treatment for serious conditions
At an urgent care center, they do not have the facilities to treat chronic illness. For instance, if you have chronic cancer, the urgent care center cannot help you. They may help to stabilize the symptoms but only a hospital can help with the treatment.
For instance, do not expect to find radiotherapy equipment at the urgent care facility. Their activities are limited to simple procedures that help to stabilize the patient and eliminate any discomfort that they may have.
Long-term medical follow up care
Another difference between urgent care and a hospital is the long-term follow-up care. Most urgent care facilities will not keep long records of a patient’s care. In most cases, if they make a follow-up, it will usually be over just a few days or weeks.
However, at a hospital, this is quite different. At the hospital, you can expect them to keep a record of your visits, sometimes extending over a few decades. They use these records to predict or diagnose ay ailments that you may have.
Thus, although it is great to visit an urgent care center for minor issues, you should still ensure that you visit the hospital when you have a serious issue. Do not simply wait it out and hope it goes away. In some cases, conditions such as cancer can be mitigated if they are found early.
Overnight hospital stays
You should also know about admission. At urgent care centers, overnight stays are quite rare. In some cases, such stays are non-existent. They just do not have the capability to keep patients overnight for observation. However, hospitals will have facilities to keep patients around for weeks or months when needed.
If your condition deteriorates and you have to stay overnight, the urgent care facility will most likely send you off to a hospital. This will only lead to more costs for you. It is thus essential for you to ensure that your condition is not major when you decide to visit the urgent care center.
Location is another major difference between urgent care centers and hospitals. Most hospitals will be located near the city center away from the suburbs. Thus, a hospital visit usually requires a lot of money and time. If you feel that your condition is distressful but not life-threatening, you should go to the urgent care center. It will take you less time and cost you less.
If you choose an urgent care center, it is quite possible to find one located in your neighborhood. As the need for urgent care continues to rise in the US, their locations are also expanding. With a simple online search, you may be able to one close to home.
The size of the crowds and the wait times
Another major difference between a hospital and the urgent care center is the crowds. Most hospitals, especially in major urban centers will be quite crowded. They will have to handle a wide range of conditions such as burns, gunshots, broken bones and much more.
Thus, if you visit the hospital, you may be placed at the back of the queue. The result is that you may have to wait for hours before anyone attends to you. However, this is not the case at the urgent care centers. Most of them have a first come first serve policy. Thus, if you were in a rush, it would be the best option. You will usually be served in about 20 minutes.