Insight Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine – If you’ve ever experienced a cold, sprained ankle, or other non-life threatening illness or injury, chances are you have visited a walk-in urgent care clinic to receive medical treatment. According to the Urgent Care Association (UCA), urgent care clinics in the U.S. see almost 90 million patients each year, providing a wide range of services to those seeking professional treatment that is fast and convenient. This number is expected to increase as urgent care clinics continue to play an increasingly important role in underserved communities and for patients without an established primary care physician.
How Urgent Care is Changing Occupational Medicine
As healthcare providers look for new ways to better serve their patients, many are integrating occupational medicine into their urgent care clinics. This allows workers to receive streamlined urgent care for work-related illnesses and injuries, drug screenings, physicals, and other employee health and safety services under one roof with the flexibility and convenience of an urgent care clininc’s expanded hours and walk-in availability.
The following is a brief overview of the benefits you can expect when visiting an urgent care and occupational medicine clinic, including how the services offered in this unique setting can help you stay healthy, safe, and productive without missing work.
What is the Difference Between Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine?
Urgent care is usually considered the midpoint between an appointment with your primary care provider and an emergency room visit. Urgent care clinics treat minor illnesses and injuries that require immediate attention but are non-life threatening. Staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses, urgent care centers treat everything from colds and sore throats to minor cuts and sprains.
Occupational medicine focuses on the health, safety, and performance of workers, including work-related injuries and illnesses. Reasons to visit an occupational medicine specialist include on the job injuries, exposure to hazardous substances, physicals, and screenings.
Although urgent care and occupational medicine are two distinct specialties, they share many similarities that allow them to work cohesively. When a work-related health and safety need occurs, many employers and workers are looking for streamlined healthcare services that allow them to return to their duties without delay.
The urgent care model is designed to meet this requirement. Whether you need a specialty physical and drug testing or you have experienced a non-life threatening workplace injury, the flexibility of a hybrid urgent care/occupational medicine clinic provides all the services you need under one roof. Other specialties, such as Insight’s orthopedic care on demand (STATOrtho) services for bone and joint conditions or sports injuries, and in-house pharmacy and imaging services are also often available in many urgent care settings, giving patients more options and convenience.
Understanding Workers’ Needs
Healthcare professionals specializing in occupational medicine have a unique skill set that differs from a general practitioner. In addition to extensive training on the ways work can affect health, occupational medicine specialists have ample experience treating people with work-related injuries and illnesses, conducting health screenings, evaluating patients returning to work, and handling OSHA and workers compensation requirements. Occupational medicine specialists also play an important role in their local communities, working with employees and employers to maintain a safe and efficient workforce.
Unlike traditional doctor’s offices where you make an appointment and have to plan ahead, urgent care and occupational medicine clinics are designed with convenience in mind. Most clinics offer extended hours and are open on weekends and holidays. Whether it’s a routine physical or an injury that requires imaging tests, urgent care and occupational medicine clinics are equipped to treat patients on a walk-in basis when it’s convenient for you.
Care for Adults and Children
Most urgent care and occupational medicine clinics specialize in healthcare for the whole family, including children. Physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals in the urgent care setting have experience in treating a wide variety of health conditions that commonly affect children and adolescents. If your child or teen is experiencing a non-emergency illness or injury, requires on-site lab testing and x-rays, or needs a physical for sports or employment, consider visiting an urgent care clinic.
Emergency Room Alternative
When an illness or injury occurs, your first instinct may be to visit the emergency room. However, unless it’s a true emergency, urgent care and occupational medicine clinics can usually treat issues that require immediate attention. If you experience a broken bone, sprain, minor burns or cuts, fever, cold, sore throat, or rash, you can potentially save time and money with urgent care.
These clinics are convenient with after hours, weekend, and holiday walk-in availability. Some urgent care and occupational medicine clinics also offer virtual healthcare for minor medical conditions. Visits to a clinic are also generally less expensive than an emergency room visit and are covered by most insurance plans.
Urgent care and occupational medicine hybrids are a convenient, cost-effective option for most people. Whether you need medical care for a non-life threatening illness, have been injured while working, or need a health screening or physical, healthcare professionals in this unique setting are best equipped to understand your needs and provide the highest quality care. For more information about urgent care, occupational medicine, or our new STATOrtho orthopedic care on demand services at Insight, contact us today at (810) 213-8144.