Top Urgent Care Staffing Models

Medical providers have always been in high demand, but the recent growth of the sector combined with a nationwide labor shortage has made staffing more challenging across the industry. Meeting patients’ needs reliably is critical for successful outcomes and patient satisfaction. The right staffing model and quality staff are key to achieving these goals. 

Urgent Care vs. Emergency Care

Urgent care centers have become more common across the United States. As this area of the healthcare industry continues to grow, it is important to understand the staffing flexibility between urgent and emergency care. 

Emergency departments (ED) of hospitals and other facilities are equipped to deal with patients suffering from just about any condition. ED teams care for people with life-threatening, traumatic injuries, acute illnesses, and those who may simply have sprained an ankle. 

Urgent care centers are ready to deal with many of those conditions that are not necessarily life-threatening and therefore do not require a visit to the emergency room (ER). These centers exist to provide services for patients who need immediate or same-day medical attention but are unable to see their primary care physician and would otherwise have needed a trip to the ER. 

Sprains and strains are great examples of the types of conditions urgent care centers can deal with, but urgent care includes much more. Simple fractures, abscesses, asthma attacks, allergies, bronchitis, infections, low-grade pneumonia, and even concussion can be treated by most urgent care teams. To cover such a wide range of conditions, urgent care centers need to be staffed sufficiently. 

Urgent Care Staffing Models

As urgent care centers continue to attract more patients, it has never been more important for these facilities to be staffed by a strong team. Different staffing models suit different facilities, depending on the complexity of expected cases, the anticipated volume of patients, and state or local regulations. 

Many urgent care centers rely on a single urgent care physician, backed up by varying teams of medical professionals. The most basic staffing model includes a physician and a nurse practitioner who are supported by one medical assistant, a radiologic technician, and a receptionist. 

Larger centers may also have a licensed practical nurse and a center manager. The largest urgent care centers tend to employ a physician supported by a physician assistant, two medical assistants, a licensed practical nurse, a radiologic technician, a center manager, and often two receptionists. 

Looking at these staffing models, it becomes clear that the provision of backup staff is limited. For example, if a physician or nurse practitioner falls ill, the facility may struggle. At the same time, urgent care centers are having to deal with greater patient complexity due to a push by insurance companies to keep non-emergent patients away from emergency departments. Their reasoning is simple: someone suffering from a less complex condition does not need to take up a bed in an emergency room when an urgent care center is equally equipped to handle the condition. 

As a result, the pressure on urgent care centers is growing. They are likely to see a larger number of patients in 2023 than ever before, as the sector is set for growth [maybe link to the next article here]. Choosing the most suitable staffing model will be critical for successful treatments, but urgent care facilities also need to consider establishing a support network for their core team. They may not only need temporary support from qualified and licensed medical practitioners but also require administrative help. 

How TrueCare24 Urgent Care Staffing Services Can Help

Most urgent care centers rely on their director to know when they need to expand their teams. However, even with prudent forward planning, it is not always easy to anticipate when a team needs to grow. Plus, with an ongoing labor shortage, the recruitment process can be lengthy and unpredictable. 

That is when staffing services can support urgent care facilities and help fill gaps or increase capacities before problems arise. With an established, proven staffing partner–urgent care facilities can respond quickly and efficiently to increased patient volumes or internal issues such as staff turnover or sickness. 

Whether your facility needs a temporary urgent care physician or a long-term nurse practitioner, our team is ready to become an extension of your team. The benefits are obvious–your team can continue to concentrate on what they do best and offer the best possible care to your patients. Our team can support you through growth phases as well as short-term spikes in demand.

Contact us today to learn more about urgent care staffing models and how TrueCare24 staffing services can help your facility. 

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