Long Beach is home to over 462,000 residents, making it the second largest city in the greater LA County metropolitan area, but the city only has 7 urgent care and walk-in clinics to serve that large population.
Long Beach’s residents consistently seek help from these urgent care centers for injuries and illnesses that are not considered true emergencies. Some common reasons for visiting an urgent care or walk-in facility include:
Residents can find just another 2 urgent care centers in the surrounding 20 miles in areas including San Pedro, Seal Beach, and Signal Hill, but making that commute could just add more frustration and may be difficult if you don’t have access to a car.
That’s where PlushCare.com comes in. We can eliminate long commutes and even longer wait times by providing 24/7 care from top-tier physicians with just a single phone call.
PlushCare doctors have been trained and educated at some of the top medical institutions in the nation, including Stanford, UCLA, and UCSF. Our team of medical professionals can give you a diagnosis and treatment and prescribe medication while you stay comfortable at home. To get started:
1. Book an appointment with a doctor by either visiting our site or calling us at (888) 8618280.
2. Call us when your appointment time rolls around.
3. Talk to your doctor, who will diagnose and treat your condition and provide any medication prescriptions (if necessary).
The decreasing resources and lack of primary care physicians has made it harder and harder to make appointments but has led to greater popularity and need for walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities. Patients can turn to these services when they have a common illness or injuries that don’t require emergency care. These facilities have become a viable service for those who don’t currently have health insurance.
A community health assessment conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2013 found that 22.3 percent of residents in Long Beach were uninsured, a number well above the state average. This has forced many people to seek urgent care centers and walk-in clinics for affordable health care.
Long Beach also has a rich cultural diversity created by groups of immigrants and persons of color. Uninsurance was highest among Hispanic and Latino communities at 31.8 percent, followed closely by Asian and African-American residents. Those that do have health insurance run up against a variety of socioeconomic barriers that cause delays or keep them from finding the care they need. Urgent care centers offer an affordable, accessible option for health care.
High demand, few resources, and numerous other factors can lead to plenty of congestion and long wait times. Long Beach’s warm, sunny days can only exacerbate the problem, adding to your frustrations and potentially making you sicker in the process.
Urgent care centers and walk-in clinics generally have shorter wait times than what you would experience in a traditional emergency room, but they can still be unpredictable.
The fluctuating wait times comes from the sheer nature of the service that urgent care centers provide. When you visit an urgent care or walk-in facility, you’re going because you’re sick or injured, and you can generally expect the same of the other people in the waiting room. However, you have to take into account that not everyone is sick or injured to the same extent.
These variations in severity can be one of the biggest reasons for long waits. The staff may be forced to triage (that is, prioritize) patients who come in with more severe or serious issues. This means that urgent care and walk-in facilities are not first come, first served. If the person who comes after you exhibits more severe symptoms or is in otherwise more serious condition, they may be treated before you.
Urgent care centers are also affected by time of day. Long Beach is home to plenty of businesses, meaning you’ll likely see more people visiting urgent care after 5:00 PM on weekdays when the workday ends or during the weekend.
Seasonally, you can expect busier waiting rooms during cold and flu season in the winter. The city is also prone to hot, dry summers, which can lead to more people visiting urgent care or walk-in clinics for heat stroke, overheating, or general accidents and injuries from enjoying the outdoors.
The average wait time in urgent care centers and walk-in clinics is generally anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour and can vary based on a variety factors that you have no control over.
Wait times are inconvenient, tiresome, and frustrating, but they present a real health problem to more vulnerable patients. Healthcare-associated infections (or HAIs) are infections that a patient may contract in a health care setting while receiving treatment for an entirely separate issue.
For instance, if you visit an urgent care center to get help for your flu, you may be put in a full waiting room. Some of the patients in the waiting room may have the cold, and spending over an hour in such close proximity to them, you have a high risk of contracting a cold. You may leave the urgent care center even sicker than when you entered.
PlushCare.com does away with the frustrations, the long wait times, and the congested waiting rooms by giving you the opportunity to get treated and diagnosed by a trained doctor in the comfort of your own home, all with a simple phone call. Are you more comfortable seeing a doctor in person? No problem. With a flat fee of $250, we can send a registered physician right to your home.
We also offer affordable co-pays for those who don’t have or cannot currently afford health insurance. Our job is making urgent care in Long Beach easy and accessible so that you can get the health care you need. Take a look at our Urgent Care FAQs for more information.