Urgent Care Vs. Primary Care: How They’re Different!

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Urgent Care Vs. Primary Care : The healthcare industry has significantly developed over the last century for the benefit of the patients. As a result, patients can now enjoy different services according to their specific needs and requirements. However, many health care services are very closely related to each other and work in an interrelated way.

As a result, the patients can sometimes get confused between these services.

Urgent Care and Primary Care systems are specialized branches of health care that patients often get confused about. However, they both have their benefits and challenges. They also have their unique purpose and applications for maintaining and monitoring a patient’s overall health. Therefore, a patient needs to know the differences to make sound choices.

Urgent Care centers like Urgent Care medical center Frisco and other primary care systems deal with the patients their way.

What is Urgent Care?

Urgent Care is medical care provided for injuries, wounds, or illnesses that need immediate attention and care. Urgent Care deals with injuries and illnesses which are not fatal and do not require the patient to visit the hospital.

Nowadays, all the countries have their detailed urgent care setups, with their urgent care specialists to help the patients as much as possible, like the Urgent care specialists Frisco.

What is Primary Care?

Primary care is regular healthcare provided by a health care clinic or a doctor’s chamber. Here, patients receive primary care from doctors, specialists, or physicians.

Primary care covers a larger area of health and related issues daily. Primary care includes prevention of diseases, diagnosis of diseases, treatment of long-term and chronic illnesses,  counseling,  and educating the patients.

What falls under Urgent Care?

Urgent Care includes medical emergencies that are not technically emergencies but still need medical attention within 24 hours. Some wounds, illnesses, or injuries that need urgent care are as follows:

  • Accidents or fall
  • Sprains
  • Minor fractures
  • Cuts and bleeding that require stitches
  • Flu or fever
  • Severe vomiting
  • Diarrhea and dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat or severe cough
  • Ear infections
  • Eye rashes or irritation
  • What falls under Primary Care?

A primary care doctor can work on a patient best if they know their medical history or conditions.

A patient can visit the primary care to deal with the following issues:

  • Long-term fever
  • Long term skin problems
  • Bones or joints related issues
  • Gynecological issues
  • To receive immunizations
  • To get the prescriptions refilled
  • For daily physical check-ups
  • To manage chronic other long-term health problems like diabetes, heart conditions, etc.

What are the differences between Urgent Care and Primary Care?

Urgent care-

Urgent care takes care of minor emergency patients. Urgent care centers can look after those patients whose illnesses, wounds, or injuries don’t pose a threat to their life, but also they can’t wait until a primary care doctor can treat them. Injuries or illnesses that the Urgent Care Unit can treat are fever, rash, UTI, minor injuries, vomiting, etc.

Urgent care units cannot treat other severe, chronic, or acute diseases.

Primary care-

A primary care doctor should be a stand-by doctor. They should know the patient’s medical history and condition to treat them better.  Primary care physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners are trained experts.

They also have connections with other specialized doctors. When a patient needs a specialist, the primary care doctor can help them connect with that specialist.

Advantages – Urgent Care Vs. Primary Care:

Urgent Care-

Pocket-friendly- Urgent care clinics are pocket-friendly, as compared to primary care or the hospital.

Medical tests: Most of the urgent care system provides a lab facility. They offer better diagnoses and help patients. During this ongoing pandemic, testing centers for covid 19 Frisco came to the rescue.

Quicker service- Urgent Care system provides a quicker service than hospitals and doctor’s chambers. One can get immediate attention at an urgent care facility.

Primary Care-

Continuity- Having a single physician who knows a patient’s medical condition means having somebody who knows the patient’s history. While taking an appointment with that particular doctor, a patient doesn’t need to explain his illness, conditions, or immunizations.

Suitable for a routine check-up- Primary care units are always the first option for routine check-ups. A patient can visit the primary care doctor for the regular monitoring of health.

Readily available- Primary care units are easily available in every locality and area. For a primary care unit, one doesn’t need to visit a hospital or a nursing home.

Challenges- Urgent Care Vs. Primary Care:

Urgent Care-

Can’t deal with fatal or life-threatening conditions- Urgent Care facilities cannot deal with fatal conditions that pose a danger to the life of the patients. For these conditions, it’s always best to visit the hospitals.

Mostly doesn’t have a specialist physician- Urgent Care facilities mostly do not have doctors or physicians. For that, one needs to visit the primary care units.

Doesn’t know the patient’s medical history or condition– Urgent Care units do not know the patient’s medical history, condition, or history of allergies.

Primary Care-

Time-consuming– Primary care units or doctor’s chambers are time-consuming. One needs to make an appointment first. Then there’s this long queue.

Not so pocket friendly– Primary cares are not so pocket friendly. The doctor alone charges a fee that is a bit expensive compared to the urgent care units.

Not suitable for illnesses that require immediate attention– As the primary care unit takes a lot of time to see the patient or address their illness, they are not suitable for general emergency conditions like abdominal pain, allergic reactions, chest pain, dehydration, fever, heat strokes, migraines and vomiting that need immediate attention.

Which one is better- Urgent Care or Primary Care?

Urgent care and primary care are not substitutes for each other. Urgent care is the next step of primary care and bridges the gap between urgent care and hospitals. Both have their advantages and challenges.

A patient needs to understand which service is suitable according to their needs. For non-fatal conditions that require immediate attention, urgent care is the right choice. For immediate diagnosis and primary consultation that can wait, primary care is the proper choice.

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