A medical walk in clinic offers above all else, convenience. These types of clinics are often located in big retail centers, some supermarkets, and drug stores, providing you access to medical care in places that you already frequent. Though a medical walk in clinic shouldn’t necessarily substitute for a visit to your doctor’s office, in a pinch — and if it’s something not life-threatening — a visit to the clinic can be a perfect solution that will also end up costing you less. You should be aware of the differences between your doctor’s office, urgent care, and a walk in clinic though and know when it’s appropriate to go to each. And a Harris Poll indicates that more and more people are going to these types of clinics. In a poll of 3,000 people, almost 30% said they had gone into such a clinic in the last couple of years.
Where Do I Go and When?
Your doctor’s office is the place you should have a long term relationship with. If they see you regularly, they can start building a chart of your health history and can spot abnormalities or irregularities easier than an urgent care center might be able to, for example. They also take care of basic check ups and preventive health services. They’ll also be there for you if you have a chronic condition, can refer you to other health specialists if needed, and keep you educated on what you should be doing for your health.
If you’re facing an urgent medical situation that isn’t life-threatening (but that can’t wait for you to get an appointment with your regular doctor), urgent care is the place to go, instead of opting for the emergency room. They have extended hours — and often are open on weekends and holidays — and provide quality care when your doctor cannot. Indeed, 85% of urgent care centers have open doors every day of the week and they work with most insurances, meaning that you’ll most likely have to just pay a co-pay.
A medical walk-in clinic is a good place to go for your flu shots or other vaccinations or to seek treatment for minor illnesses like strep throat or the flu, and minor injuries. They can also prescribe medications, conduct physicals and health screenings, and have an overall focus on medical care that’s not as advanced as what you might find in an urgent care center.
What Services Can a Medical Walk In Clinic Provide?
The role of the walk in clinic is certainly changing, though it’s still centered around serving the basic health needs of the community. You might go to the walk in clinic because of a bad cold or a cut that needs attention. You may drop in for a flu shot or immunization. Some clinics will now screen for diabetes or cholesterol and nurse practitioners can also monitor blood pressure and blood pressure.
What are the Benefits to Going to a Medical Walk In Clinic?
You’ll never need to schedule an appointment with a walk in clinic and there’s often not much of a wait time when it comes to walk in clinics. Visiting a walk in clinic also tends to be much more affordable than other health care options and they provide a wide range of quality healthcare services.
And, they’re conveniently located in areas that you may already be headed. Instead of having to go out of your way for a flu shot, you can simply get it on an afternoon of errands, for example, making sure that you keep yourself safe and healthy, without creating a hassle. Furthermore, the extended hours that walk in clinics offer will make sure that you can get healthcare when you need it, not just when the doctor’s office is open.
If you’ve never visited a walk in clinic, don’t be shy! Though you should never replace your primary care with a walk in clinic, it’s a wonderful supplement when you need medical attention quickly and aren’t sure where else to go.