St. Louis (KSDK) - It's the place to go when you can't wait for an appointment, but you're not sick enough for the E.R. St. Louis University student Joe Jasnowski ended up in the Urgent Care when the weather caused the University clinic to close early Tuesday.
"[My mom] was very concerned since I'm so far away from home," Jasnowski said.
So, Jasnowski says she encouraged him to visit the Center. And for a cough that won't go away, St. Louis Urgent Care says he went to the right place.
"I always say don't sweat the small stuff, the Urgent Care will take care of it," said Dr. Sonny Saggar, of St. Louis Urgent Care.
Hospitals are sending the same message. Tuesday, Mercy sent out a tweet saying, "Slips, falls, sledding accidents might not always require ER care, check our #urgentcares"
"We're excited to report there are more people who are getting the message that Urgent Cares are a better option for a lot of things. And I think people are finding that Urgent Cares are the future," said Dr. Saggar.
That growth is the reason more centers are popping up across the region. Total Access Urgent Care is working to open its fifth location. It will take over the Blockbuster that's going out of business at the intersection of Chippewa and Jamieson in south St. Louis. Owners plan to have it open by the end of May.
St. Louis Urgent care has four locations and is also growing. And, healthcare providers say the centers are saving patients time and money, while saving the E.R. for true emergencies.