When someone is wounded or suffers an illness or allergic reaction, it is time for them to be taken to an urgent care center for medicine or stitches, or even a splint. Urgent care centers can be found all across the United States, and when a patient needs to visit one, a responsible adult may look up walk in clinics in their area with a PC or mobile device. They may search by area, such as “urgent care clinics in southern Los Angeles CA” or even use their ZIP code to find something local. Online, the seeker may find each clinic’s name, address, hours of operation, and driving direction. Meanwhile, other patients whose life is in danger need emergency room care, and that too can be found either online or by calling 911 to summon and ambulance.
Visiting the ER
The ER, or he emergency room, is where patients in critical condition can be taken care of. Emergency care is often inside a hospital or in a specialized clinic, and here, doctors and physicians will have the training, medicine, and tools to get a patient out of critical condition and help them recover. Why might someone need emergency care? Such a patient may have serious chest pain or difficulty breathing, and such conditions may soon become life-threatening. Or, the patient may have a head or eye injury that the staff at an urgent care center cannot easily treat. Major trauma such as broken arms or legs, or bullet or stab wounds, may result in heavy bleeding or organ damage that can threaten a life. For example, a broken rib may be puncturing a patient’s lung.
It should be noted, however, that only patients with dire need for emergency care should visit the ER, and as many as 44-65% of all ER episodes could have been taken care of at an urgent care clinic instead. A patient who only needs urgent care is advised to visit a walk in clinic instead, as this may be more convenient for them and also leave room in the ER for someone who truly needs it. What might someone expect from urgent care?
Going to a Walk in Clinic
Many thousands of urgent care clinics can be found across the United States, and one may be found in nearly any city, town, or community. Most of these clinics are small and independent, but others may be formed into small local networks with one another. Such clinics may be found in larger structures, as some of them are built into strip malls or even hospitals. An urgent care center can be found right in a hospital’s premises, but patients should note that such a clinic will offer distinct care and staff than the hospital at large, and there is no overlap or mixing between the clinic and hospital at large. Meanwhile, retail clinics are those found inside major retail centers such as Target, Walmart, or Walgreens. These major retailers have ample parking and are easy to find, and a shopper may visit to not only get their shopping done but also visit the clinic. Such retail clinics often have a pharmacy built into them, where shoppers may get their prescription drugs refilled.
A clinic is staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians, and they can treat a wide variety of illnesses and ailments. Such clinics, if they are running smoothly, pay see about three patients per hour, and a guest may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes. The guests at an urgent care clinic may also check if their healthcare insurance policy is accepted there.
Urgent care may visit urgent care centers if they have suffered an ankle or wrist sprain, which are common problems. Around 25,000 Americans suffer ankle sprains, often while running or playing sports. Four out of five such clinics can take care of bone fractures as well, and patients may visit these clinics if they have a cut that needs bandages and stitches (such as if they stepped on broken glass). In other cases, patients may get medicine for relief against the cold or flu, or they may get ointment or lotion for bad rashes such as from poison ivy. Most clinics have pharmacies in them, for drug refills.