Most 24-hour urgent care centers are staffed with doctors and nurses trained to stitch and clean wounds, give intravenous drugs, take x-rays, perform ultrasounds and administer other critical diagnostic tests, according to Mount Sinai Hospital. They offer treatment for non-life threatening ailments that still need immediate attention.
These centers are generally equipped with x-ray, ultrasound and other diagnostic tools, explains Immediate Clinic. They are staffed with trained physicians capable of performing diagnostic blood and urinalysis testing as well.
A non-life threatening injury or pain that occurs after regular doctor's office hours is the main reason most people visit urgent care centers. Whether the primary care doctor's office is closed during off hours or simply overwhelmed with patients, the urgent care center is a viable alternative for those seeking immediate medical treatment for conditions such as a skin laceration or flu-like symptoms, notes Immediate Clinic. Some other conveniences of an urgent care clinic is that the patient almost always has a shorter wait time than in the emergency room of a hospital, and they do not need an appointment.
Typically, the cost associated with visiting urgent care centers is less than most emergency rooms, as noted in an article published by the National Institutes of Health. Unlike the primary care doctor's office, urgent care centers can deal with a larger scope of acute medical problems. These centers fill the gap between a patient who has difficulty accessing a same-day appointment at the primary care office and the often overcrowded emergency room.