Life can be hectic with work, family, friends, hobbies, and other commitments. Sometimes, it feels like you don’t have enough time to get that sprain checked out right away. Or you may not get the flu shot even though most people have told you to get it.

For medical needs that are immediate and require fast treatment, you have an easy solution: walk-in urgent care services.

Most urgent care centers provide a variety of services where patients can walk-in and receive treatment within minutes for common ailments such as respiratory irritation, injuries and cuts, and preventive care screenings.

It can be tricky for busier individuals to understand when it is important, or even necessary, to use walk-in urgent care services. An individual may sometimes seek emergency care in an ER that usually has longer wait times and more expensive costs than urgent care.

For a quick reference, here is a simple guide on when to best use walk-in urgent care:

Injuries that are not life-threatening and don’t require immediate surgery

Walk-in urgent care is a great way to receive treatment for any minor injuries that happen at work or home.

Cuts and lacerations that require first aid can easily get stitched up within an urgent care center. In addition, patients can also receive treatment for minor fractures and sprains. Minor bruises and muscle pains are usually treated in a walk-in clinic as well.

However, life-threatening injuries such as cuts that will not stop bleeding, gunshot and stab wounds, and bone breaks that puncture the skin should be treated at an ER.

Flu shots, vaccinations, and other preventive care needs

It may seem like a pain to take time out of your day to get a flu shot or other vaccination as needed, but walk-in clinics provide a great resource to do so.

An urgent care center can provide seasonal flu shots using the updated vaccine and provide travel vaccinations for would-be vacationers.

Walk-in urgent care services can also provide preventive services to address developing medical conditions or treat current chronic diseases. Walk-in clinics usually offer health screenings for various medical conditions and can even treat substance use disorder (SUD) with Vivitrol injections.

Unless it is a true medical emergency, an urgent care center can provide fast and near-immediate treatment for many need. Walk-in access allows even the busiest people to seek high-quality medical as they need it.