The American healthcare industry is quite large, and it spans from hospitals to urgent care clinics to pediatric clinics to mental health facilities. When a person falls ill, suffers an injury, or some other medical condition, that victim may need medical care right away. A nearby responsible adult will look for a medical facility of the correct type, and take the patient there at once. This may mean looking up urgent care or walk in clinics nearby, and the seeker may use an online Search if they don’t already know the 24 hour emergency clinics near me by heart. They can look up “closest urgent care location nearby” or even “24 hr closest urgent care location” and choose one of the results. The closest urgent care location may be a clinic built into a strip mall or a retailer, or the closest urgent care location might in fact be a hybrid clinic that offers both urgent and emergency care for maximum flexibility. What is there to know about both urgent and emergency care?
What Emergency Care Can Do
Some medical cases are quite serious, and in fact the patient’s very life may be in danger. This calls for emergency care, and that may include a hospital’s ER or an emergency care clinic in the area. The doctors and physician at emergency care sites will have the training and tools needed to get a patient out of critical condition and help them recover. For example, a patient rushed into emergency care may be suffering serious abdominal or chest pain, or they may have difficulty breathing. Conditions like these may turn life-threatening at any moment, if they aren’t already, and may come from a variety of underlying causes. Minor abdominal pain may only require urgent care at most, but serious or sudden pain, or ongoing pain, may call for emergency care instead. A patient who suffered a heart attack or a stroke recently may also be rushed into emergency care.
Major injuries or trauma also merit a visit to emergency services. Someone who has broken arms or legs will need emergency care, and the same may be true if the patient has suffered from bullet wounds or stab wounds, or similar trauma. Such trauma may not only break bones, but also cause major bleeding or even organ damage, which can certainly threaten a life. Victims may also have suffered an injury to their head or eyeballs, which are too serious for urgent care to handle.
Emergency care is capable of a lot, but emergency care clinics or emergency rooms should not be treated as catch-all medical sites for all patients. They are best reserved for patients who have suffered life-threatening conditions, while minor and everyday wounds or illnesses call for urgent care and walk in clinics. Besides that, it may be unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming to visit an ER for a minor medical case. Urgent care clinics often prove to be much more convenient and affordable for non life-threatening cases.
Urgent Care Done Right
While emergency care is for life-threatening medical cases, urgent care can handle a wide variety of minor wounds and conditions. Across the United States today, there are a few thousand different urgent care and walk in clinics to be found, most of which are small and independent clinic staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians. If a clinic is running smoothly, a patient may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes or so, and visiting a clinic often proves more time-efficient and cost-friendly than the ER. Many clinic are found in strip malls, or built into retailers and even hospitals. Some of these clinics are in fact a hybrid model, meaning they offer both emergency and urgent care. This is helpful if it’s unclear what level of care a victim may need.
Urgent care may involve treating bone fractures or wrist or ankle sprains, and these clinics also offer lotion and ointment for skin rashes or sunburn. Guests may get medicinal relief from the cold or flu during influenza season, and they can also get stitches and bandages for shallow cuts. Most such clinics have a pharmacy in them, where guests may get prescription drug refills. Retail clinics in particular may have pharmacies, for the convenience of shoppers.