What Is Urgent Care & When To Use It

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What Is Urgent Care & When To Use It

Urgent care is the provision of immediate outpatient medical care. An urgent care clinic is intended to treat acute and chronic illnesses and injuries. At Reliance Primary & Urgent Care in Jacksonville, Fl, we provide a wide range of medical services whether urgent or not.

Urgent care is not intended to replace your primary care physician. An urgent care facility is a convenient option when a regular physician is away on vacation or unable to schedule a timely appointment. When illness occurs outside of the typical office hours, urgent care is an alternative to waiting in a hospital ER for hours.

As an urgent care professional, Dr. Patel and his staff have a vast knowledge base in order to provide patient care for patients with complex or unusual conditions. In collaboration with physicians, specialists, and primary care physicians, our team can treat your emergency condition and provide regular medical care.

Primary Care & Urgent Care

Urgent care practitioners must have the ability to diagnose and treat patients in a short amount of time. As a result, there is some overlap in the scope of practice between Urgent Care Medicine and all existing medical specialties that involve direct patient care. Because of the ease of urgent care centers, patients prefer them over traditional doctors’ offices or choose not to visit the hospital’s emergency department.

Like urgent care medicine, primary care medicine has a broad scope that includes treating patients with any complaint. Urgent care medicine is distinct from primary care medicine in that its primary goal is to address regular medical issues & general wellness at the lower end of the severity spectrum. Primary care services include:

  • Health Maintainance
  • Wellness/Annual Physical
  • School Physical
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Lab Result Interpretation
  • Preventive Care Screenings

Emergency medicine specialists who specialize in urgent care have expertise in diagnosing and treating patients with only simple office-based laboratory tests (e.g., urinalysis, pregnancy test, rapid strep assay), and X-rays. There is no immediate access to extensive laboratory testing or advanced imaging (e.g., CT scans, or MRI scans). Those who visit an urgent care facility and need those tests or scans are transferred to a hospital emergency department.

Due to the lower administrative costs and simpler procedures associated with office-based care, similar care in an Urgent Care facility can typically be provided more quickly and economically than in an Emergency Medicine facility. The area of emergency medicine’s specialty that is different from urgent care is the care of critically ill patients and the ability to observe patients for a long period of time.

Primary care medicine is the most economical and preventive care in general is often regarded as the best way to keep you healthy and strong. As the adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With regular wellness visits, you and your family can save time and money, and avoid discomfort and pain. Reliance Primary & Urgent Care is dedicated to providing regular care as well as treating emergency incidents. Clients that use both services also gain the benefit of having a team that is familiar with their medical history and treatment regimens, giving them the unique ability to provide ongoing and emergency care efficiently and effectively.

Emergency Room vs Urgent Care

Urgent care facilities are intended to help patients with minor illnesses or injuries that can’t be delayed, or for a primary care physician to see them.

For the hours that primary care physicians are closed, or for individuals who lack a primary care physician, urgent care centers provide simple access to quality healthcare without the hassle of the emergency room.

Serious medical conditions that are not considered emergencies, but still require attention within 24 hours. These conditions include:

  • Accidents and falls
  • Sprains and strains
  • Moderate back problems
  • Breathing difficulties (i.e. mild to moderate asthma)
  • Bleeding/cuts — not bleeding a lot but requiring stitches
  • Diagnostic services, including X-rays and laboratory tests
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Fever or flu
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration
  • Severe sore throat or cough
  • Minor broken bones and fractures (i.e. fingers, toes)
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Urinary tract infections

Life-threatening emergencies, such as a heart attack or a serious head injury, require a visit to the Emergency Department

If you are looking for a primary care physician with years of experience in emergency medicine or if you need urgent treatment for an injury or condition, look no further than Reliance Primary & Urgent Care. Schedule your first wellness visit by calling 904-687-1055.

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