When you are in need of urgent medical care, having access to an urgent care clinic can be incredibly convenient. Before urgent care centers became the norm, you either had to wait until your doctor could squeeze you in for an appointment or go to the local emergency room for care. Urgent care centers tend to allow walk-ins or rapid appointments so you can get care as quickly as possible. While these medical care establishments have been around for a while, they are still associated with a lot of misconceptions. Take a look at a few of the most common misconceptions about urgent care centers. 

Misconception: Urgent care centers typically employ nurse practitioners instead of doctors. 

While many urgent care clinics do employ nurse practitioners, just as many employ physicians. Sometimes, the facility will actually have both medical professionals on staff. The nurse practitioner will handle the less serious issues, while the doctor may tend to patients who need a more specialized assessment of their condition. Therefore, you could see either a doctor or nurse practitioner at these establishments during treatment. 

Misconception: You cannot seek treatment at an urgent care clinic for problems that require an x-ray. 

Most facilities that offer urgent care these days are outfitted with x-ray equipment that can be used to examine patients as needed. In most cases, there will even be a radiologist on staff who performs and evaluates the x-rays. Therefore, if you suspect you have a fractured bone, pneumonia, or more internal issue, you can be properly evaluated and treated at urgent care. 

Misconception: Urgent care centers do not treat children.

Urgent care clinics are most often for patients of all ages. One reason urgent care clinics were initially established is so many parents would be forced to take their children to the local emergency department at the hospital when they could not get in to see the pediatrician. While there are some companies that may not offer care for children, most offer care for patients of all ages. 

Misconception: Most urgent care clinics do not accept state-funded health insurance.

Contrary to this misconception, the majority of urgent care centers do accept state-funded, private, and even federally-funded insurance plans. Many urgent care centers are affiliated with larger healthcare providers like hospitals, so they naturally accept a range of health insurance types. Even if a specific clinic does not accept your insurance, the costs of treatment can be lower than at the doctor's office. 

For more information, contact an urgent care clinic near you.