A trip to urgent care often offers a cheaper and quicker way to receive the medical attention you need. While urgent care centers are an excellent resource for patients, many people are left wondering when they should use an urgent care center rather than a traditional emergency room.

Life-threatening injuries and illnesses should never be treated at urgent care. Trying to visit urgent care for a fatal injury will delay your ability to receive the treatment you need and put your life at risk. Some of the best reasons to visit an urgent care center include:

Lacerations

A cut, laceration, or similar deep wound may require stitches, but luckily urgent care has got you covered. The staff at the urgent care center will be able to determine the severity of the cut, provide stitches, and give you any necessary vaccinations to prevent infection of the wound. A simple laceration does not require a call to 911 or a trip to the emergency room unless you notice excessive blood loss.

Fractures and Sprains

A fracture or a sprain is a painful acute injury to suffer and finding the right treatment is vital to recovery. At urgent care, you can confirm if you experienced a sprain or fracture and come up with an appropriate treatment plan. They will typically be able to provide a temporary casting to protect a fracture until you can visit an orthopedic specialist. For sprains, they can help you to manage the pain and give you tips towards a healthy recovery. If you suffer a compound fracture, you should call 911 and make a trip to the emergency room instead.

Infections

Many common illnesses, viruses, and diseases can be treated at urgent care. Typically, you need to receive a script for an antibiotic and/or a steroid to treat the condition. Some of the most commonly seen infections and illnesses in urgent care centers include:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Strep throat
  • Pink eye
  • Ear infection
  • Bronchitis

Sudden Onset Symptoms

Sometimes, you need medical attention to determine what the problem at hand actually is. Unexplained diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, and swelling could be symptoms with a variety of causes.

Visiting an urgent care center with these symptoms will allow you to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan quickly so you can begin feeling better. The urgent care center will be able to diagnosis and treat the symptoms before they become more severe and lead to other acute symptoms.