Although urgent care centers are seeing high growth rates, there is still confusion regarding their role, offered services, and what types of medical conditions they can treat. In their confusion, patients directly drive down to the nearest care center that isn’t appropriate for their condition. As a result, they face unnecessary troubles like longer wait times, appointment issues and a higher medical bill.
You can avoid these troubles by visiting an urgent care center near you for emergency health situations that need immediate care but are not life-threatening. At FCCMG Urgent Care Centers, we take care of a wide variety of urgent medical conditions.
Keep reading this blog to get answers to all the questions that you may have about an urgent care center, and how it is different from a primary care center or emergency room.
What is an Urgent Care?
An urgent care center is a place where non-life threatening but, serious health conditions that require immediate attention, are treated. Urgent care centers are staffed by physicians, physician’s assistants and nurses, and they have more flexible hours.
What Services Can Urgent Cares Provide?
Any full-fledged urgent care center should provide necessary medical services like first aid, medical consultation, and sometimes proper medication. Shorter wait times without an appointment is also a unique aspect of urgent cares. At FCCMG urgent care facilities, we offer all these, and we also have an on-site lab and X-ray facilities for a proper medical checkup so that all your treatment needs are met at one place.
What Conditions Do Urgent Cares Treat?
Our urgent care centers at Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, and Irvine (Woodbridge) are staffed by experienced physicians who can treat a wide variety of moderate to severe, but non-life threatening medical conditions, including:
- Cuts, lacerations, scrapes, and bruises
- Sprains, strains, and broken bones
- Sore throat, cough, fevers, and flu
- Earaches and headaches
- Bladder infections
- Pink eye
- School and sports physical injuries
- Work injuries
Are Urgent Care Centers Open 24 Hours a Day?
Urgent care centers are typically open the entire day. However, unlike emergency rooms, urgent cares are usually not open overnight. That’s because the situations that urgent care deals with are not life-threatening. FCCMG urgent care practices in all three locations are open 8 AM to 8 PM on weekdays, and 8 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Can Urgent Cares Apply Stitches?
Yes. Cuts that are not too deep can be treated and stitched at an urgent care center. Shorter wait times, affordability, highly skilled medical teams, and extended business hours are what make urgent care the place to go for small and medium cuts that require stitches.
Are Urgent Care Visits Covered by Insurance?
While insurance providers usually cover urgent care, it’s up to the urgent care centers to choose whether to accept your insurance. At FCCMG, we accept a wide variety of insurance plans that include Medicare, covered CA plans from Blue Cross, Health Net and some Blue Shield Products. You can check if we accept your insurance plan by calling us prior to your visit, or by asking your insurance provider.
Is Urgent Care Different from Primary Care?
Urgent cares and primary care centers both have different purposes. A primary care center plays an important role in your long-term health. They have access to your medical records that help them in managing any chronic condition over time. Whereas, an urgent care center only deals with any urgent medical condition. That’s why urgent cares usually have a walk-in culture; they do not require any prior appointment and have longer business hours.
How Do You Know If You Need to Go to an Urgent Care or an Emergency Room?
The dilemma about choosing an urgent care vs. emergency room is common primarily because of the two contributing reasons: similarity of names (“urgent” care and “emergency” room), and the involved treatment cost.
The confusion about names leads many to believe that urgent cares should also provide similar treatment facilities as those of an emergency room (ER), which is not true.
Emergency rooms are for tackling life-threatening conditions, such as major injuries, severe wounds, coughing up or vomiting blood, severe shortness of breath, signs of stroke and heart attack, etc. ERs contain all the necessary equipment and the expert team needed to save a life. Urgent care centers are for treating less severe conditions (check above in this article) that may require immediate attention but are not what you may call life-threatening.
If you are concerned about the treatment cost, urgent care centers are usually substantially less expensive given the medical condition is something that they can treat. We also recommend assessing the exact reason for a sudden health condition to determine the best option for yourself.
At FCCMG urgent care centers, we have got you covered for all your urgent care medical needs. Call us at (949) 265-0442 for our Irvine location, (714) 594-7268 for our Fountain Valley location, and (714) 316-7826 for our Costa Mesa location.
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