It's important to understand when you should go to an urgent care center. These facilities are not appropriate for life-threatening illnesses or injuries. If, for example, you have a cut that is extremely deep and will not stop bleeding, an emergency room may be a better option than the urgent care. Even if your injuries are listed as the most commonly treated, in more severe cases, you may be transported to a local emergency room. Urgent care facilities are a good option if, for example, you are unable to get to a primary care physician during their regular office hours.
Some examples of illnesses and injuries treated at urgent care facilities:
Sprains or strains
Cuts and lacerations
Urinary tract infections
Minor abdominal pain
Nausea and/or diarrhea
Urgent Care facilities are also not an appropriate place to manage chronic illness such as diabetes, hypertension, COPD, congestive heart failure, depression or chronic pain. If you have a chronic illness, an urgent care physician may or may not be able to treat you, but will certainly be able to refer you to a primary care provider or an appropriate specialist.