It is a simple fact of life that Americans young and old will sometimes get hurt or ill, and then this happens, getting urgent care is the next step. A person may take themselves to a walk in clinic if they can, and otherwise, a responsible adult can find a clinic for a patient. Medical care may never be far away, and a walk in clinic can be found when a person conducts an online search. To find urgent care clinics, a person can use their ZIP code or city to find sites. A search like “walk in clinic near me Orange County CA” or “24 hour walk in clinic in Los Angeles” can show some nearby clinics. Not all clinics are open 24/7, but some are, and the rest will probably have pretty wide hours of operation in any case. What kind of wounds or injuries might send someone to urgent care? And how does urgent care differ from emergency care?
There’s something important to keep in mind: urgent care and emergency care are not synonyms, and they’re in fact pretty different. Both are forms of medical care, but different health problems may send a person to emergency care instead of an urgent care clinic. What calls for emergency care? Usually, life-threatening or very serious illness or injury. Broken arms or legs are a good reason to be rushed to the emergency room, for example, or bullet or stab wounds that are bleeding heavily. Head and eye injuries are other reasons to get emergency care, along with difficulty breathing or serious chest pain. Issues such as these might threaten a life, so doctors and physicians on site will have the training and equipment to deal with these issues. A patient with more mild, everyday health needs is advised to steer clear of the emergency room and save the ER for patients who really need it. Instead, a walk in clinic will do the job just fine.
A Walk In Clinic
If the ER is for life-threatening trauma, an urgent care center is where someone goes for daily medical needs. There’s no shortage of these clinics; thousands of them can be found across the United States today, and most are either independent or part of a small local network. They are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can treat a wide range of medical ailments, and a clinic that is running smoothly can see about three patients per hour. These clinics may accept many forms of health insurance policies, though a patient may still want to check this ahead of time before visiting. A patient may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes (this may vary).
Some medical care clinics are what is called retail clinic. This describes when a clinic is built into a larger retailer such as Target or Walgreens, and these stores have ample parking for all of their shoppers. These clinics often have a pharmacy in them as well, and it may be convenient for a shopper to vi8sit for their regular shopping and also pick up drug refill along the way at the clinic. Some hospitals also have regular walk in clinics built into them, but patient should bear in mind that the clinic’s medical services and the general hospital’s care services are kept separate.
What might send someone to urgent care like this? Everyday wounds such as shallow cuts or sprains are a fine reason to visit. Patients can have cuts stitched and have bandages applied by skilled nurses on site, and ankle and wrist sprains can be treated, too. Four out of five of such clinics also have treatment option for bone fractures. Broken fingers or toes might be treated, too.
A patient might visit urgent care for medicine, too. A patient can get relief from cold or flu symptoms at urgent care with medicine, and they can also get relief from allergic reactions. Rashes and other skin issues may have lotion or ointment applied to them, and upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit urgent care clinics today. A standalone clinic is likely to also have a pharmacy in it, allowing pharmacists on staff to offer drug prescription refills for patients who visit them.