Where and When to Find Urgent Care

The modern American medical industry is a broad and diverse one, and that includes emergency care centers, urgent care clinics (or walk in clinics), pharmacies, and much more. Every day, many people young and old will get hurt or ill, and they will need to visit urgent care clinics or the ER, depending on the severity of their health problem. When this happens, a nearby person can look up urgent clinics or an ER nearby with a PC or smartphone. A query such as “urgent care near me” can bring up a whole list of results, showing the name, address, and hours of each clinic. When searching “urgent care near me”, the person can modify the search, such as “urgent care near me 24 hrs” to find a 24 hour clinic if the patient needs help at an odd time of day. If it’s for a child, the person can look up “pediatric urgent care near me,” since regular urgent care centers are meant for adult patients. And what about cases that call for emergency care?

All About Emergency Care

Emergency care services are for serious medical cases that may be life threatening, and they are too serious for walk in clinics to handle. An emergency clinic or a hospital’s ER will have doctors and physicians with the right training and medicine to save a life. For example, a patient may have a broken arm or broken leg, or they might have suffered an injury to their head or eyeballs. Similarly, patients who have bullet wounds or stab wounds must be rushed to the ER, especially if those wounds are bleeding heavily. Chest pain and difficulty breathing also call for emergency aid, since those conditions may turn life threatening at any moment, if they are not so already. The ER is also required for a patient who has suffered a heart attack or a stroke. And what about abdominal pain? Most cases of abdominal pain are harmless, but if that pain is severe, sudden, and/or long lasting, the underlying cause could be quite serious and call for the ER.

While the ER can save a life, it should not be considered a catch-all medical care site, and it is best reserved for patients in dire condition. Patients with minor medical issues are urged to visit walk in clinics for convenient care (often much cheaper and faster than visiting the ER). In some cases, though, it may not be clear what level of care a patient needs, so they can be taken to a hybrid clinic that offers both urgent and emergency care side by side. A person might look up these hybrid clinics specifically, and take the patient there.

Urgent Care Done Right

As mentioned above, urgent care concerns itself with minor medical cases that require attention, but not the ER’s expertise. The good news is that the modern urgent care industry is a large one that is still growing, and ever since the year 2000, over 2,500 urgent care clinic have been built across the United States. Most of these clinics tend to be small and independent medical care sites and are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can take care of minor medical cases. These clinics are often much cheaper and faster to visit than the ER, and a clinic that’s running smoothly may see three patients per hour on average. Many of them accept various healthcare insurance policies.

Where are they? Most urgent care clinics are built into strip malls, though some are also built into retailers, known as retail clinics, and they’re convenient for shoppers. Some urgent care centers are even found built into hospitals, offering distinct care from the hospital itself.

Guests at an urgent care clinic can visit the pharmacy inside and get a prescription drug refill, and they can also get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu during influenza season. Nurses on staff can provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts and wounds, as well as lotion and ointment for cases of sunburn and skin rashes. These clinics can also offer treatment for wrist and ankle sprains, and four in five can also take care of bone fractures for patients who visit them.

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