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When to Use an Urgent Care Clinic

Dr. Salas with a patientWhen an accident or sudden illness occurs, knowing where to seek treatment can be difficult.  Learning about the various health care options available to you beforehand can save you time and stress when it comes to making a decision about where to go when you’re hurt or sick.

Health problems are unpredictable, and many occur after business hours or on weekends. If you have an after-hours health concern, or you doctor’s schedule is too busy for an immediate appointment, an urgent care clinic is a good alternative. An urgent care clinic has similar resources as a primary care facility. However, they are able to provide comprehensive, quality medical treatment for non-life threatening problems such as a cold, sore throat, ear infection, simple cut or sprains and do not require an appointment. Many urgent care clinics also offer extended hours for added convenience to the patient.

Before visiting an urgent care facility, you should check with your insurance company regarding your coverage to avoid any surprises. Most insurance companies offer 24-hour helplines to assist patients as they decide where to go for their health care needs.

As always, call 911 if it’s an emergency.

For a complete list of MercyCare urgent care locations, visit www.mercycare.org/clinics.