The quick answer is that if your injury isn’t life-threatening, then yes, it’s usually worth seeing a doctor at an urgent care facility. They have access to X-rays and other diagnostic equipment that will help them quickly determine if it’s tendonitis or something more serious like a fracture. Furthermore, an urgent care center may be more convenient than going to your regular doctor and waiting in his or her crowded waiting room. If your primary doctor isn’t available, it may take hours to get seen by a different provider. Meanwhile, if you see an urgent care physician immediately (or sooner), then he or she will probably be able to give you some medication for pain and inflammation.
Sure, they may be able to help with that painful case of tendinitis in your wrist. But are they equipped to help with a broken leg, or do you need an orthopedic surgeon on speed dial? The answer to that question might surprise you. An urgent care clinic is essentially an alternative to going straight to an emergency room for non-life threatening issues. Their goal is for patients to walk in, and walk out quickly after being treated by a healthcare professional—usually a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.
We’ve heard of urgent care facilities treating everything from ear infections to broken bones. In some cases, it makes sense to seek out urgent care over making an appointment with your primary care physician. But there are also times when immediate medical attention is needed and visiting an urgent care center is not a good idea. Before heading off to any type of health facility, here are five questions to ask yourself