Americans young and old may sometimes get hurt or ill, and a person may need medical attention right away. For everyday wounds and illness such as the cold or flu, a person may need to visit a walk in clinic, and clinics can offer a wide range of medical treatments. For more serious, even life-threatening injuries or illness, a person should be taken in for emergency room care, where the best doctors in their area can look after them. A victim or a nearby adult can search on a smart phone or a PC for local health clinics to find clinic care. A search query such as “walk in clinics near me Burlington VT” or “urgent care clinic San Francisco CA” may be helpful. Or, a person may call 911 and get an ambulance to take a patient to the nearest emergency room at a hospital. No matter what happens, it’s smart to know how to find the correct medical facility, whether a walk in clinic or the ER.
The Emergency Room
It is vital to know what sort of medical care a patient needs. If a victim’s injuries or other medical condition is life-threatening, he or she must be taken in for emergency care, not just urgent care. Emergency care is where a patient can be stabilized and brought out of harm’s way, and doctors and physicians at such a site will have the right training and equipment for the job. Broken arms or legs, bullet or stab wounds, head or eye wounds, and heavy bleeding may all call for emergency care, as can serious chest pain or difficulty breathing. Those latter two symptoms may soon lead to a heart attack or inability to draw breath, or something else that can quickly threaten a life. Those who are looking for a nearby ER, however, should note that more everyday wounds or illness can be treated there, but probably shouldn’t be. A walk in clinic can handle more minor medical cases, and the space in the ER that such a patient takes up may be needed by someone else with more dire need. Around half of all ER patients, in fact, could have and should have gotten care at an urgent care center instead. What might this entail?
A Walk in Clinic
Walk in clinics are plentiful across the United States, and one can be found in nearly any urban area. They are small and independent facilities, or at most may belong to a small, local network with each other. These walk in clinics are staffed with physicians and nurse practitioners who can treat a wide variety of non life-threatening illnesses and conditions, and they may have broad hours of operation. A person who needs to visit such a clinics can perform an online search to get the name, address, and hours of such a clinic. And these clinics can often be efficient; a patient may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes, and if a clinic is running smoothly, its staff can see about three patients per hour. Patients should also note that there are retail clinics that they can visit if need be. Retail clinics are those that are built into a major retailer, such as Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, and they may have similar hours of operation as the retailer itself. These retailers will be easy to find and get parking spots for, so a visiting patient can enjoy those conveniences.
What might a patient go into a walk in clinic for? The common cold and flu, especially during influenza season, may be such a reason, and a patient can get medicine for relief. Patients may also visit a walk in clinic due to an upper respiratory infection (this is common), or for allergies or stomach poisoning. Four out of five such clinics can treat bone fractures, and nearly all of them can also help a patient with a sprained ankle or wrist. In fact, nearly 25,000 Americans every day get an ankle sprain. These clinics can also help with shallower cuts, and nurses can offer stitches and bandages for an open cut. A patient may also get lotion or ointment for a bad rash, such as poison ivy.