Urgent healthcare refers to the urgent treatment of non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses in which the patient can wait no more than 24 hours before receiving treatment. It covers everything from stitches to x-rays, and it’s usually much cheaper than urgent medical care.
There are many urgent healthcare facilities across the country, and most of them are open 24 hours a day. Many urgent care centres are also affiliated with hospitals, so if you need to be seen by a specialist or you have a serious health condition, you can be transferred to the hospital to receive further care.
Various conditions can be treated at an urgent healthcare facility. Here are seven of the most common:
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are common injuries that usually occur during physical activity. They can be treated with ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication. If the pain is severe, you may need to see a doctor for a prescription pain reliever.
A fever is a common symptom of many illnesses, such as the flu. If your fever is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a rash or severe headache, you should see a doctor right away. If your fever is mild and you’re otherwise feeling well, you can usually wait to see a doctor during office hours.
High temperatures will be a clue to a fever and a diagnosis by a doctor is something that will confirm this. With a fever, you will likely feel lightheaded and weak, have a loss of appetite, and experience nausea and muscle aches.
Ear infections are common in both children and adults. They can be treated with antibiotics, which are available over the counter or by prescription. If you have an ear infection, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to get the appropriate medication.
Types of ear infection include:
- Otitis externa, otitis media (acute or chronic), or serous otitis media.
- Acute mastoiditis.
- Infectious myringitis.
- Vestibular neuronitis.
- Herpes zoster (of the ear).
Minor Cuts and Scrapes
When someone picks up minor cuts and scrapes, these can usually be treated at home with soap and water. However, if the wound is deep or bleeding heavily, you should go to an urgent care centre. They will clean and dress the wound and may give you a tetanus shot if it’s been more than five years since your last one.
You cannot be too careful with a cut because there is the potential to pick up an infection, and this can lead to further medical problems. This is why urgent care is necessary where this type of injury is concerned.
A sore throat is usually caused by a viral infection and will go away on its own. However, if the pain is severe or lasts longer than a week, you should see a doctor. They may prescribe antibiotics if they think you have a bacterial infection.
If you are bleeding and it won’t stop, go to urgent care. They will clean and dress the wound and may give you a tetanus shot if it has been over five years since you had one.
Should you have a broken bone, urgent care can help set it and provide you with a cast or brace. You will likely need to follow up with an orthopaedic specialist.
Broken bones need to be set in the right place by a health professional and this should be soon after the injury happened.
Urgent healthcare is a great option for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. It is normally significantly cheaper than urgent medical care. If you’re not sure whether your condition requires urgent medical care or urgent healthcare, you can always call your doctor or an urgent care centre and ask for advice. They will be able to help you determine the best course of action.