It is a simple fact of life that Americans young and old will sometimes get hurt or ill, and when this happens, finding the right urgent care or emergency care is essential. A victim, or someone nearby, can look for a nearby walk in clinic or doctors with a smart phone or a PC, and find a whole list of local clinics. A walk in clinic may have broad hours of operation for patients, and a person can find such clinics and their addresses and hours of operations online. It is important to note, though, that a walk in clinic and a hospital’s emergency room are not the same thing. Urgent and emergency care have their differences, and a person should be taken to the correct one when they are ill or hurt. What might someone expect at urgent care, or with the ER?
The emergency room of a hospital, or any emergency care, is meant to victims with life-threatening illness, injuries, or other medical conditions. These facilities have the equipment, medicine, and trained doctors and physicians to take care of patients and get them out of harm’s way. What sort of problems bring a patient to the ER? Serious trauma such as broken arms or legs, for example, might send someone to the ER, or stab wounds or bullet wounds. Such injuries may have damaged organs or are bleeding heavily, and this is life or death. Other major problems such as difficulty breathing or serious chest pain may send someone to emergency care, since these issues may become critical. Eye and head injuries may also bring a person to the ER.
It should be noted that not everyone who visits the ER in the United States today even needs it. In fact, around 40-65% of all ER patients had non life-threatening problems that could have should have been taken care of at an urgent care clinic or a walk in clinic. A dedicated ER is for life-threatening problems, but some facilities are hybrid clinics; that is, they can treat for both urgent and emergency care. Someone looking for care facilities should be aware of what sort of care a nearby clinic offers, and what it doesn’t. If the ER is for serious emergencies, then, what does a walk in clinic treat?
A Walk In Clinic
Regular, everyday illness and wounds can be treated at urgent care and walk in clinics across the United States, and fortunately, there are many thousands of these clinics to be found. These clinics tend to be small and independent, or sometimes part of a local network with each other. At these clinics, trained nurse practitioners and physicians have the medicine and medical tools needed to address everyday health problems, and there will probably be pharmacists on hand as well. These clinics, if they are running smoothly, may see about three patients per hour, and a patient may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes when they visit. These clinics may also accept a variety of healthcare insurance policies, but a patient may want to check ahead of time.
What sort if illnesses are treated here? A walk in clinic’s staff can help with wounds such as shallow cuts, and the nurses may offer stitches, bandages, and more to patch up these wounds. Four out of five clinics can take care of bone fractures, and most can also help with ankle or wrist sprains. After all, sprains are quite common; around 25,000 Americans suffer an ankle sprain per day, often while playing sports. A patient might also get broken fingers or toes taken care of.
The common cold and flu may be another reason to visit these clinics, and the staff there can provide medicine for relief against symptoms. The staff can also provide lotion and ointment for skin rashes, such as allergic reactions to poison ivy. Upper respiratory problems are another common reason to visit a walk in clinic.
Retail clinics are another option. These are walk in clinics built into retailer such as Walmart or Target, and they can be a convenient option for a shopper. These retail clinics, like most other clinics, have pharmacies where a guest may get his or her drug prescriptions refilled.