When you or someone you love is sick or injured, it can be tough to know what to do. You might wonder whether to visit the emergency room or if urgent care is a better option. You might also be concerned about how long you’ll have to wait to see a healthcare professional. Fortunately, there are some tips you can use to minimize your wait time and make the most of your visit.
Urgent care centers are walk-in medical clinics that treat patients for injuries or illnesses that aren’t severe enough to require an emergency room visit. They are often open after regular doctor’s office hours and over the weekends, making them an ideal choice for treating common ailments such as sore throats, minor fractures, sprains, and urinary tract infections. They can also diagnose and treat non-life threatening injuries like broken bones or soft tissue damage, such as burns.
The best time to visit urgent care is at noon, when patient volume tends to be lower. Wait times are also generally shorter at night, on the weekend, and on holidays. However, you may experience longer wait times during seasonal peak times in urgent care, such as at the end of January through March when flu season begins and allergies are in full swing.
You can also call an urgent care center ahead of your visit to see if you can reserve a time slot. Many of them allow you to do this online, so you can provide initial information and be placed on the wait list before you arrive. This will help to ensure that you get seen as soon as possible, which can save you valuable time and money.