What Is an Urgent Care Center?

Significance

Many urgent care centers are open 24 hours, 365 days a year, so you can visit one after regular business hours, on holidays, and on weekends. Urgent care centers are equipped to deal with acute medical conditions and can treat patients of any age.

Procedure

You may need to wait to see a physician at an urgent care center, depending on how severe your condition is compared to the patients ahead of you. Your urgent care physician will treat your conditions, and may ask you to schedule a follow-up visit with your regular doctor. You need to pay the co-pay amount determined by your insurance company directly to the urgent care center.

Considerations

Urgent care centers normally have limited diagnostic tools on site, such as X-ray machines, and generally do not have the ability to analyze blood work. If you have a serious medical condition, your urgent care center may arrange for a direct ambulance transfer to the nearest hospital emergency room. If you become ill or sustain an injury that requires stitches, you can drive to your nearest urgent care center to receive immediate medical attention.