There are many viruses that circulate throughout the year. In 2020, Covid-19 arrived and seems to be here to stay. Just when one variant slows down, another one is quick to pop up and take its place. Thus, if you begin to experience symptoms of the latest Covid-19 strain, you may be wondering if urgent care is able to test, provide flu shot, and treat you for the virus. Urgent care centers are equipped and ready to offer the testing you need to determine if you are sick with Covid-19, the flu, RSV, or even the common cold. Urgent care centers are there to help you will all sickness, including seasonal illnesses, so you are able to get the testing and treatment you need in a jiffy! Read on to learn more about urgent care centers, so you can choose this form of medical treatment, with confidence the next time you find yourself under the weather.
Do I Need to Make an Appointment to Be Seen at An Urgent Care Center?
No, one of the most attractive benefits of choosing urgent care for your health care needs is that they offer quick, convenient services without the need for an appointment. Despite this, if you wish to secure a specific time, many facilities now offer online scheduling, so you can arrive and be seen more quickly when you are feeling your worst. Take note that if you are experiencing the symptoms of Covid-19, your local urgent care may have special protocols to follow when you are seen. As such, be sure to phone ahead and ask how they will proceed with your visit. Many facilities will choose to have you wait in your vehicle until they are ready to see you. That way staff and other patients can be shielded from unnecessary exposure to the virus.
Why Is Urgent Care Such a Popular Choice for Those Experiencing Covid-19 Symptoms?
There are quite a few reasons people love the services offered by urgent care centers, but this love has steadily grown since Covid-19 first made its appearance several years ago. Simply put, patients love the accessibility of testing and treatment without the need to jump through hoops. Due to restrictions placed on day care centers, schools, and other professions, it is important that people can obtain the answers they need in a hurry. Urgent care centers offer fast, reliable, testing so patients have a definitive answer as to whether they have Covid-19 or not. Better yet, if a patient finds they have something else like the flu, RSV, or some other seasonal illness, urgent care can still offer testing in most cases, as well as appropriate treatment options, to promote a quicker recovery.
What Are the Benefits of Choosing Urgent Care for Covid-19 Testing?
There are many great reasons to utilize an urgent care center if you begin experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. Consider these below:
Better Hours - Covid-19, as well as other seasonal illnesses, typically arrive quickly and without warning. In years past, if you began to feel sick during the evening or on the weekend, your only option was to wait until your family doctor was open again or to visit the emergency room for something that wasn't actually an emergency. Now, with Urgent Care centers being an option, you can get the testing and treatment you need when you need it, since they offer extended hours that include both nights and weekends.
Affordable - Urgent care centers are also attractive for those who lack insurance as they are often a more affordable option for receiving medical care than paying out of pocket to a family doctor or the ER.
Convenience - As was aforementioned, since urgent care facilities offer walk-in appointments, you can go be seen whenever it best suits your schedule. Better yet, you can get the Covid-19 testing you need on demand, instead of waiting for an appointment at your primary care doctor or local pharmacy.
Speed - Perhaps one of the best reasons to visit an urgent care center (if you are feeling sick) is for the speed at which you can be seen. Since many centers offer walk-in appointments, you are able to get in and out quickly, so you can begin receiving treatment as soon as possible. As such, if your symptoms appear to be related to Covid-19, you will be able to get tested and begin the appropriate treatment regimen much quicker than if you had chosen to wait on a regular doctor's appointment.
Comprehensive Care - When you visit an urgent care center, you are, not only able to be tested for Covid-19, but you are also able to receive other services that may be applicable to your case. For example, if you have been exhibiting signs of illness, the staff at the facility can conduct a physical exam and check your vitals to determine if there may be any other underlying issues present or if your case is severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. They can also provide treatment for other existing ailments, such as allergies or asthma, that may be exacerbating your condition. Thus, regardless of what you are dealing with, urgent care will see to it that you get the diagnosis, testing, and care you need when you need it most!
I Suspect I'm Sick with Covid-19, When Should I Visit the ER Rather Than Urgent Care?
While urgent care centers are equipped to provide testing and routine treatment for Covid-19 and other illnesses, it is important to remember that they are NOT able to provide emergency care and do NOT take the place of ER's. With this in mind, if you are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 and are experiencing difficulty breathing or are showing other signs of an emergency situation, you should seek care at the nearest emergency room right away.
However, for those with milder symptoms, an urgent care center may be the best option for testing and treatment. Simply put, urgent care centers can provide comprehensive services including physical examinations, diagnostic tests, and prescriptions all at one place in a timely manner. Henceforth, if you are not experiencing any life threatening symptoms but still feel unwell due to Covid-19 or another illness, you can get the answers and treatment you need without having to wait for an appointment or risk exposing yourself to other patients in the ER.
In conclusion, urgent care centers are an excellent option for those who need testing and treatment for Covid-19, as well as other illnesses. These facilities offer extended hours, walk-in appointments, affordable prices, and comprehensive care that can get you the answers and help you need quickly. However, if you are experiencing signs of an emergency situation due to Covid-19 or any other illness, it is best to go directly to the nearest emergency room or dial 911 for immediate medical attention. So, what are you waiting for? Consider if choosing urgent care for your next bout with illness could be the right choice for you!