You probably know that urgent care centers treat urgent, but non-life-threatening conditions and injuries. Urgent cares have convenient locations and hours, offer shorter wait times, and are much less expensive than emergency rooms.
Many urgent care centers are expanding its capabilities, offering a wider range of services including physical exams, basic blood work, x-ray services, and a variety of common medical tests. Here are several tests your local urgent care center can probably administer to you and your family. You might be surprised!
One of the most important tests that some urgent care centers offer is an EKG (electrocardiogram) test. An EKG is a non-invasive procedure that looks at the electrical activity of your heart. A doctor may order an EKG for you for several reasons, including:
- As part of your annual physical
- To assess the performance of your pacemaker
- To assess unexplained fatigue, chest pain, palpitations, or trouble breathing
EKG testing is very safe and there are no risks or side effects involved.
A tuberculosis (or TB) test is done with a simple skin test called a PPD—which stands for purified protein derivative. The test done to determine whether you have come in contact with the bacterium that causes TB. The test is done in two visits to your local urgent care center.
If you haven’t had the TB vaccine, you’ll be given a shot; the PPD is injected under the top layer of skin and a small bump or welt may form. After 48 hours—but no later than 72—you must return to the doctor to see if you had a strong reaction to the shot.
If you need a TB test, call ahead to your nearest urgent care center to make sure it’s offered there.
Many urgent care centers offer sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests. This is a great option for people who are embarrassed about getting an exam or worried about a possible exposure and want to get tested immediately. Most centers are open in the evening and the weekends; some are even open 24 hours. Many offer gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B and C, herpes, syphilis, and trichomonas tests.
It’s important to address urinary tract infections as early as possible to prevent them from getting worse. A UTI occurs when bacteria from the skin of the genitalia or rectum makes its way into the urinary tract. The bacteria then multiply in the urethra or bladder, which leads to infection. Symptoms include frequent urination, burning during urination, or feeling the urge to urinate, but little coming out. Women can also experience pain in the pelvic area.
Need a medical test done?
If you’re in need of a routine test such as an EKG, TB test, STD test, or UTI test, your local urgent care center is a convenient option. You should be able to visit your local center and have such tests done confidentially and conveniently, even in off hours or on weekends. Don’t wait to get the test you need—head to urgent care!