Americans young and old sometimes suffer from illness or injuries that require professional medical aid, and these victims can get help from emergency rooms in hospitals, or they can visit urgent care centers or walk in clinics for more minor health issues. A general rule is that hospitals are for emergency cases and life-threatening injuries or conditions, and non life-threatening cases are best handled at urgent care centers instead. It may be noted that while “urgent” and “emergency” care may sound similar, they are two different branches of care, and not all victims actually need hospitals. These hospitals and their emergency rooms are best reserved for the most serious cases, and more minor cases can be taken care of quickly and cheaply at urgent care centers. When is it time for hospitals and emergency care?
Emergency care is for the most serious medical cases, often when a patient’s life is in danger or if their injuries are too serious for the staff at an urgent care center to handle. If someone is badly hurt or their life is in danger, a nearby responsible adult should quickly either call an ambulance or provide personal transport for that victim to any of the hospitals in the area. Doing this can save a life, and the doctors and physicians at those hospitals and emergency clinics will know what to do. A person can either call 911 for an ambulance, or they can look up hospitals or emergency care clinics on a PC or smart phone and specify their general area. A person may look up “hospitals in north San Diego” or search “emergency care near me” and include their ZIP code.
A patient may need emergency care if they have suffered broken arms or legs, for example, or if the patient has suffered head trauma such a a cracked skull or a concussion. Difficulty breathing and serious chest pain call for emergency care too, as such conditions may soon turn life-threatening at a moment’s notice (if they aren’t already). Stab wounds or bullet wounds also justify emergency care, as such wounds may involve heavy bleeding or internal organ damage.
It may be noted that some care clinics are a hybrid model, and they offer both urgent and emergency care. This makes them flexible and convenient for nearby victims, especially if it is difficult to tell what level of care a victim needs. In unclear cases, a victim may be taken to an ER just to be safe, but a hybrid clinic may be an even better choice. But what about dedicated urgent care? What does that entail?
Visiting a Walk In Clinic
Contrary to what some people might think, a hospital or emergency room is not a catch-all medical site, as they are best reserved for serious medical cases. Instead, many ordinary and minor illnesses and wounds call for urgent care instead, and this may prove far more convenient than seeking emergency care anyway. Over 2,000 urgent care clinics can be found across the United States today, and finding one may be easy when conducting an online search. Some of them are also open 24 hours a day, which is useful for getting urgent car at an odd time of day.
Where are these urgent care clinic? All cities and most towns have at least a few of them, and often, these walk in clinics can be found in strip malls for easy access and convenient parking arrangements. Some clinics are built into larger retailers, and these retail clinics typically have a pharmacy for the convenience of shoppers.
Patients may visit a walk in clinic not only for the pharmacy, but also to get medicinal relief against the cold and flu during influenza season, or get medicine for a migraine or the stomach flu. Four in five urgent care clinic can provide treatment for bone fractures, and most of them can also provide care for sprained wrists or ankles. A patient may visit to have nurse practitioners give them stitches and bandages for shallow cuts, and a patient may also visit to have lotion or ointment applied to skin problems such as a nasty rash or sunburn. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit these walk in clinics for most Americans.