There is a decent chance that at one point in your life at least, you will need to visit an urgent care center. Urgent care is a great option for when you need an issue looked into, but it isn’t particularly egregious. For example, if you or your child has a fever, that problem could be resolved by a simple trip to an urgent care center, saving you a trip to the doctor’s office. But many people don’t visit urgent care centers simply because of the myths surrounding them. With that in mind, let’s debunk five myths about urgent care centers.

1. The Care Isn’t High Quality

A major myth surrounding urgent care centers is that the staff there are not as qualified as they would be in a doctor’s office or emergency room. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Urgent care centers are full of doctors who take shifts at the centers to supplement their incomes; qualified nurses and other healthcare professionals often do the same.

2. They Aren’t Cost Effective

Some believe that urgent care centers cost as much as the emergency room. In fact, about half of all urgent care appointments cost less than $150, while the average emergency room visit costs $1,354 (per Health Grade). The cost of your visit will of course be dependent on the care you need, but generally speaking, urgent care visits are less expensive than visiting the emergency room.

3. You Can’t Make An Appointment

When you have a problem that’s pressing but not an emergency, you may prefer to make an appointment to see a healthcare professional. While it’s often assumed that urgent care centers don’t offer appointments, many actually do. You can call ahead to see what your local center offers.

4. I Can Only Visit An Urgent Care Center

Urgent care centers are not meant to substitute for primary care physicians. You still need to have a doctor for regular appointments even if you visit an urgent care center.

5. Urgent Care Centers Have Limited Hours

Although centers can vary, many are open for traditional office hours, as well as on weekends and the evenings. You don’t have to wait until after hours to visit an urgent care center!

Don’t hesitate to visit an urgent care center if you’re concerned about a health problem. It’s better safe than sorry.