What Are the Different Types of Urgent Care Jobs?

Susan Abe

Urgent care facilities and clinics are one of the newest means of providing ambulatory medical services for medical services needed on an urgent but not a critical or emergency basis. These types of walk-in medical centers first developed as alternatives to over-crowded and over-utilized hospital emergency rooms. While some urgent care centers continue to remain open 24 hours a day, most now utilize somewhat truncated hours and open their doors from approximately 7 am to 11 pm. Due to the shorter treatment times as compared to hospital emergency rooms and their availability during the work day, urgent care clinics have also begun to specialize in occupational medicine, i.e., those injuries incurred during the workday. The urgent care jobs necessary to staff such a facility include receptionists, nurses, phlebotomists, radiology technicians, nursing assistants and physicians.

Technicians that work on X-ray machines and other imaging devices are among the workers found at urgent care centers.
Technicians that work on X-ray machines and other imaging devices are among the workers found at urgent care centers.

Working within a separate urgent care center, the limited number of staff requires that most employees must multi-task in urgent care jobs to fill all the different roles required to provide safe and necessary treatment. The first urgent care jobs usually encountered by prospective patients are the clinic receptionists. In addition to ensuring that appropriate paperwork is competed and medical insurance details are collected, these receptionists are often also experienced in billing for workers' compensation claims, coding for diagnostic and treatment identification and working as medical record technicians. Urgent care jobs also include certified nursing assistants (CNAs). These nursing assistants measure patients' heights, weights, vital signs and are also often trained as phlebotomists capable of collecting blood for clinical laboratory studies.

Registered nurses (RNs) are also employed in urgent care jobs. They are responsible for performing initial physical evaluations, recording patients' medical histories, documenting primary complaints and administering any prescribed medications or therapies recommended by the clinic physicians. In the absence of a designated and licensed phlebotomist or nursing assistant trained in the field, RN's are also responsible for drawing blood for necessary laboratory tests. Radiology technicians or technologists are also often on the staff for urgent care jobs. If necessary and prescribed, radiology technicians take X-ray images of patients and prepare the resulting film for review by one of the facilities' physicians.

The careers included in urgent care jobs also include physicians. These doctors are often certified in emergency care, occupational medicine or family practice specialties. For one-time patients, the treating physicians diagnose, prescribe any necessary medications and encourage follow-up with the patients' family physicians or other specialists as needed. When treating patients injured on the job — such as in occupational medicine — urgent care physicians often supervise initial recovery times, organize physical therapy referrals as necessary and coordinate injured employees' successful returns to work.

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