Urgent care is a term used to identify facilities that can provide care for minor illnesses or injuries that require immediate treatment, but not care of life-threatening injuries, illnesses or emergencies.  Such illnesses or injuries commonly seen in an urgent care include allergies, pink eye, colds, cough, fevers, earaches/infection, sore throat, influenza, minor burns, cuts, sprains/strains, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and rashes.  

Great times to utilize these services are when you are not sick or injured enough to require evaluation in the emergency room.  Another good time to access this service is when your regular provider’s office is closed or if your provider is unable to see you or your loved one and you do not feel that the illness/injury can wait to be evaluated and treated. 

The beauty about accessing services in an urgent care setting is that those wishing to obtain these services do not need to make an appointment for evaluation and treatment and it is not necessary to call ahead.  Simply find an urgent care facility near you (GCH Clinics – Panora) and look up the hours they are open (7:30 A.M. to 9 A.M. Monday thru Friday) for walk-in services.  

Lastly, urgent care should never replace your primary health care provider.  Urgent cares typically do not refill routinely taken medications or do physicals for school, work or sports.  It is important to see your regular provider for these routine health needs and occasionally for follow up after urgent care use.  For those that do not have a primary care provider, the staff providing care in the urgent care setting (GCH Clinics – Panora, located at 603 E. Main Street) can help facilitate recommendations to finding a provider. 

Sara Van Effen, ARNP