What Types Of Services Are Provided At Urgent Care Centers?

Posted on: 2 December 2017


Urgent care centers provide medical care for issues that are not threatening to life and/or limb but require prompt attention. Patients can receive examinations, diagnoses, treatment, and prescriptions (no opioid painkillers) from the practitioners at urgent care centers, just as in a regular doctor's office.

Illnesses or injuries for which you wouldn't seek treatment at a doctor's office cannot be treated at an urgent care center. So if you have a broken bone protruding through your skin, a gunshot or stab wound, or are exhibiting the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, you need to go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

However, urgent care centers can provide many valuable services after most doctor's normal office hours.

Injuries That Can Be Treated at Urgent Care Centers

Treatments for minor injuries include:

  • Cuts with light to moderate bleeding can be stitched.
  • Small broken bones such as fingers and toes can be splinted.
  • Minor burns can be treated with topical prescriptions.
  • Sprained and strained muscles can be wrapped and treated with non-opioid pain medications and muscle relaxers.
  • Foreign bodies in eyes or other eye irritation can be treated with removal of foreign bodies and eye drop prescriptions.
  • Insect bites and stings can be treated with topical medications such as antihistamines or steroid creams.

Illnesses That can be Treated at Urgent Care Centers

Urgent care centers can provide treatment for non-life threatening illnesses or health conditions.

  • Mild to moderate asthma and other breathing problems can be treated with inhalers and nebulizers.
  • Respiratory, sinus, and ear infections can be treated with antibiotics and medications to relieve the severity of the symptoms.
  • Influenza (Flu) and other viruses can be treated with antiviral medications.
  • Severe sore throats can be tested for strep infection and treated with a specific antibiotic.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) can be diagnosed and treated with UTI specific antibiotic.

Additional Services Provided at Urgent Care Centers

There are some services that are not provided for immediate medical conditions but are necessary for employment, school, travel, or prevention of future illnesses, including:

  • Vaccinations, which may be administered for school enrollment requirements, travel to areas with specific health risks, and to prevent illnesses such as influenza.
  • Drug testing for hiring requirements of specific employers or to meet DOT requirements for professional drivers.
  • General physical examinations for employment or other purposes.

Most major insurance companies provide coverage for treatment at urgent care centers, with co-pays and other coverage costing slightly more than a visit to a regular doctor. Of course, your doctor isn't available evenings and weekends (and some days), so urgent care centers are a pretty good deal when you need treatment during these times.

Contact a company like West Ocean City Injury & Illness Center for more information and assistance.