What is Urgent Care?

Urgent Care:

  • Is the delivery of ambulatory care in a facility that generally provides unscheduled, walk-in care outside of a hospital-based emergency room (ER).
  • Allows patients to avoid the long lines at hospital-based emergency rooms.
  • Helps emergency rooms by allowing them to reserve their space for more life threatening illnesses and injuries.
  • Usually cheaper than the ER – ¬†most insurance companies apply a lower co-pay for Urgent Care visits than for emergency room visits.
  • Flexible hours; Urgent Care clinics are typically open early, close late, and are generally open on the weekends. Some are even available 24/7 or on-call.
  • Typically no appointment is necessary.
  • Convenient for patients away from home.


Patients receive care from the same licensed professionals as an emergency room or Primary Care clinic. The following conditions are commonly treated in an urgent care setting:

  • Twisted or sprained ankle
  • Cough, cold, or sore throat
  • Minor skin rash
  • Ear infection
  • Cuts, bumps, & sprains
  • Fever or flu symptoms
  • General wound care
  • Animal bites
  • Mild asthma
  • H1N1 Swine Flu Screening

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the following are warning signs of a medical emergency:

  • Fainting or unconsciousness
  • Breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, or choking
  • Continuous bleeding
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion, difficulty arousing)
  • Head or spine injury
  • Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
  • Ingestion of a poisonous substance
  • Sudden injury like motor vehicle accident, burns or smoke inhalation, near drowning, deep or large wound, etc.

If you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go immediately to your local hospital-based Emergency Room.

Urgent Care is also known as:

  • Walk-in Clinic
  • Immediate Care Facility
  • Convenient Care Center
  • On-call Doctor/Physician
  • Quick Care Center
  • Express Care Facility
  • After-hours Facility
  • Minor Illness & Injury Center
  • Minute Clinic

Recommended Links:

1. WebMD

The leading source for trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information

2. Healthlinks.net

A Worldwide Resource for Healthcare Consumers and Professionals Providing links to health Services and Products, Alternative Health, Education, Dental and Medical Resources, Hospitals, Employment, Healthcare Publications, Mental Health and much more!

3. Medicinenet

With MedicineNet, stay informed on all aspects of health and medicine with articles written to educate.

4.  Rx List

The Internet Drug Index.

5. The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine

is the official journal of the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA).