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Urgent Care



When You Need Care Now

A fever, illness or injury can happen at any time. It’s not an emergency, or is it? Where do you go for care?

If you can, speak with your primary care doctor first for the best advice. But if it’s after hours or the weekend, you might traditionally go to your local emergency department for treatment and care. Now you have more choices.

If you have a true emergency, like signs of a heart attack or stroke, or a serious cut or injury, you should call 911 or go immediately to the closest emergency department. But when an injury or illness is less serious, you have some local options, including convenient UMass Memorial Health Care-affiliated urgent care centers located in Worcester, Leominster, Marlborough, Fitchburg and Northborough - with more to come. 

The Role of Urgent Care 

Urgent care centers provide medical care for conditions that aren't an immediate, serious threat to life or health, and are typically staffed by board-certified physicians, registered nurses and/or medical personnel specially trained in acute care for all age groups. They are not intended to provide emergency care. They can be a good option in the evenings or on weekends when you or your child's doctor may not be in the office.

Wait times are much shorter than those of emergency rooms, and the costs are far less. Though emergency care is still the preferred choice for health emergencies, and if you ever are in doubt, call 911.

When Should You Go to the Urgent Care?

The best practice is to call your primary care doctor first. They know you and your medical history, and can provide the best advice on care. However, if you are unable to contact your doctor, and have a condition that requires immediate treatment, you should go to an urgent care center.

Urgent care is ideal for treating conditions such as:

Cold, Flu & Other Illnesses

Allergic Reactions

Children’s Illnesses &  Injuries

Puncture Wounds/Infections

Sports Injuries/Sprains/Strains

Strep Throat/Pink Eye

Vaccinations & Health Screenings

Routine Physical Exams & Sports Physicals

Occupational Medicine

Travel Care

Making a Decision

Serious, life-threatening injuries or conditions are medical emergencies and should be treated in a hospital emergency department. For less urgent problems, talk with your primary care provider about which urgent care services he or she recommends, and how to secure a referral, if you need one. You should also contact your health insurance provider to review your benefits and if urgent care is covered. 


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