Urgent Care Centers They Aren’t Just For Adults

Walk-in urgent care

One of the scariest things as a parent is that moment when your child is sick or injured. It doesn’t matter if the issue is minor, like a cold or a cut; or if it’s serious. No matter what the problem is, your first instinct will likely be to go to the doctor’s office, or even the emergency room — especially when your child is younger. However, it can be difficult to see your child’s regular pediatrician without making an appointment, and most doctor’s offices aren’t equipped to provide emergency care anyway. For that matter, your child’s health problem may be serious enough to need quick care, but not serious enough to constitute a visit to the emergency room. You can still visit the emergency room, of course, but your child will be seen after those who’ve visited with a more serious issue. Luckily, urgent care centers exist for exactly this reason. But many don’t realize that urgent care centers offer family medicine. In fact, pediatric urgent care is not only available but often much more convenient and less expensive than the alternatives. An urgent care clinic will provide skillful convenient and affordable care to not only adults but children — and for many, that makes all the difference.

How Is An Urgent Care Center Different From An Emergency Room?

Many parents decide against pediatric urgent care simply because they have the incorrect perception that urgent care clinics provide care that is inferior to that given at a doctor’s office or emergency room. In fact, the differences between what you can expect from an urgent care center versus the emergency room are not that major. Of course, if your child’s emergency is truly dire, you will want to go straight to the emergency room. But urgent care centers are equipped and staffed to deal with a variety of issues both minor and severe. For that matter, they always have medical professionals on staff, and often those professionals are doctors. About 50% of all urgent care centers are owned by a physician or a group of physicians, who often put in hours at the clinic as well. An urgent care clinic may be smaller than an emergency room, typically housing about seven exam and treatment rooms. But the equipment urgent care providers use is just like any other types of medical equipment, and the care they give is great.

Why Visit An Urgent Care Center Over The Emergency Room?

So — what would be the advantages of choosing pediatric urgent care for your child over the emergency room? For one thing, you won’t have to wait as long to be seen. One of the biggest issues with going to see any kind of medical care provider as a parent is waiting — your child is already in pain or sick, and will only become more stressed and upset throughout the wait. If you don’t have a major emergency and go to the emergency room, you and your child could wait for hours to be seen. Comparatively, the average wait time at an urgent care is much shorter — about 60% of urgent care patients wait less than 15 minutes to see a physician mid-level care provider, and about 65% of urgent care centers have a physician on staff at all times. Urgent care physicians typically see about 4.5 patients and hour, and provide care at a much more affordable rate. The typical bill for an urgent care-level case treated at the emergency room is $2,039. When that same case is taken to an urgent care center, the bill is $226.

Do Urgent Care Centers Only Treat Emergencies?

Pediatric urgent care comes in many forms. A child could be treated for a broken bone or sprained ankle; they could also be given antibiotics for an infection or illness. Children can also receive their vaccinations at urgent care centers. Many parents take their children to urgent care centers just to check on minor issues — they’re better safe than sorry.

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