Local urgent care centers are commonly used to treat non-life threatening injuries and illnesses. These problems may include cuts, animal bites, allergic reactions, flu-like symptoms, earaches, and more.
If you are wondering whether or not an urgent care center will give IV fluids to anyone, the answer may depend on a few factors. Read on to learn more.
Why Choose Urgent Care
Before urgent care centers came into being, you only had a couple of choices if you were sick or injured. You could make an appointment with your doctor to be seen, but that may mean having to wait days or weeks for the next available appointment. The other choice was to head to your local emergency room and wait to be seen by a nurse or doctor. If you didn’t have a life-threatening illness or injury, waiting in an emergency room could take hours. That’s because priority is always given to patients who need help the most.
When urgent care centers began popping up all over the country, patients were given more choices when it came to getting help. Urgent care facilities typically work on a “first-come, first-served” basis. That means that you will likely be seen by a doctor much faster than if you would utilize your local emergency room. They also accept walk-in patients- no more calling ahead for an appointment. Not only that, but urgent care centers are staffed by professional nurses and doctors who have just as much knowledge and experience as those in the hospital.
What are IV Fluids?
IV fluids, or intravenous fluids, are large volumes of water that are mixed with important electrolytes and vitamins. IV fluids are used to restore the body’s vitality quickly and easily. When you get an IV in a professional setting, the nurse on duty will set up a thin tube that is attached to a bag of fluid. This tube will be carefully inserted into one of your veins before the fluid is released. The nurse will carefully control how much liquid flows from the bag into your body. The fluid will enter into your bloodstream slowly and easily.
There are a number of reasons why you may need IV fluids. Some of these are:
• Dehydration caused by illness, lack of fluids, and excessive exercise or activities
• Pain management
• Treatment of cancer with chemotherapy medicine
• Food poisoning
Can I Receive IV Fluids in an Urgent Care?
When you are admitted into an urgent care, the nurses and doctors on staff will determine whether you are in need of IV fluids. If you are, then you will likely receive this treatment right there in the center. You’ll receive IV fluids one of two ways- either manually or with an electric pump. No matter which way is used, you’ll always have a nurse nearby to make sure the fluids are entering your bloodstream at the right rate.
If the urgent care center uses manual regulation to administer IV fluids, you’ll see a clamp that controls the pressure on the tube. The nurse on duty will count how many drops go into your bloodstream per minute in order to make sure the speed is correct. If the urgent care center uses an electric pump to administer IV fluids, the pump itself will be set to deliver the right amount of fluids for the patient at the correct rate of speed.
Should I Go to an Urgent Care?
You should always call an ambulance or your local emergency services if you are dealing with a life-threatening injury or illness. But if you have a problem that doesn’t require immediate care, then an urgent care may be the best option for your issue. The first thing you will want to find out is if the urgent care takes your insurance if you are under an insurance policy. If so, they may have a co-pay that you will need to take care of before they accept you. If you don’t have insurance, you may want to find out in advance what you will be charged for. Most urgent care centers will charge not only for the visit but for the treatment or treatments they administer. IV fluids will likely be a separate charge.
Remember, most urgent care centers are not open overnight. If you need to be seen after hours, then you will need to head to an emergency room. If you are looking for more information on urgent care centers, we can help. Give us a call today at 205-352-9141 to learn more.