Quick Quiz: When to Visit an Urgent Care?

Urgent care centers are a wise option for non-life, limb, or vision threatening illnesses or injuries, but not every illness requires a trip to the doctor.  We’ve created a little yes/no quiz to help you assess whether you should visit an urgent care center or not:

  1. You have an itchy eye that’s crusty when you wake up.

    Answer: YES.  An itchy or crusted eye could be a sign of an eye infection, which can be treated at urgent care facility and should be treated immediately to avoid infecting others.

  2. Your vision is blurry.

    Answer: NO; call 911 or go to your nearest ER.

  3. You have a cold, and want to get antibiotics so you can feel better.

    Answer: NO. A cold is a virus, and viruses are not treated with antibiotics. Most colds will run their course, so give it a day or two to let your immune system work.

  4. You think you may have a sprained ankle.

    Answer: YES. Most urgent care facilities have X-ray equipment (at MedSpring, we do!) so the doctors can check it out and see if you need further treatment.

  5. You woke up with a really sore throat.

    YES. Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Scott Burger says “Going to an urgent care for a sore throat is the right decision to make. The provider working at the clinic can quickly determine if a person has strep throat which improves quickly with antibiotics or if the cause is something else that will need different treatment.”

  6. You’re having difficulty breathing.

    Answer: NO; call 911 or go to your nearest ER.

  7. You have a sudden onset of fever, plus body aches.

    Answer: YES. These are common signs of the flu, which can be treated with antivirals if caught right away. These could also be signs of other illnesses, and you should seek prompt medical treatment.

  8. Your 6-month-old baby has a fever.

    Answer: NO; fever in a young infant is considered an emergency, so go to your nearest ER.

  9. You need a flu shot.

    Answer: DEPENDS. You can get a flu shot at MedSpring, or you could visit most walk-in clinics, grocery stores, or local pharmacies.  You could also call your regular doctor’s office and get an appointment for the near future.

  10. You’ve got a burning feeling when you urinate.

    Answer: YES. A burning feeling when urinating could mean a bladder infection or UTI, so it’s important to go see a doctor right away. Urgent care clinics can treat you for this same day.

Anytime you’re concerned about a medical symptom, call or visit your doctor.  We hope this quiz helped show some of the differences between an urgent care, regular doctor, and an ER.  Remember, all MedSpring centers are open every day from 8am to 8pm including weekends and most holidays. Walk-ins are always welcome, or hold a same-day / next day spot in line that meets your schedule. We accept most major insurance plans and offer affordable self-pay rates.

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