What to Expect from Urgent or Emergency Care

Every day, many Americans both young and old will suffer injuries or fall ill, and they may need some professional medical attention to get better. In this case, a nearby responsible adult can look up urgent care clinics and emergency care sites online if they don’t already know such a place. When looking for these urgent care centers, a client may enter their city or town name or even their ZIP code to keep the results local, such as “urgent care albuquerque” or “emergency clinics in boston MA” and review each option they find. With a search such as “urgent care albuquerque”, each clinic’s name, address, and hours of operation will be listed for reference. If the patient needs care at an odd time of day, that can be specified in the search too, such as “urgent care albuquerque 24 hours”. But it may be noted that urgent and emergency care are not the same thing, since they treat different levels of medical problems.

Emergency Care Done Right

When might a patient need emergency care in particular? This level of care is possible at an emergency clinic or in a hospital’s ER, and such places are staffed with doctors and physicians who have the right training and medicine to get a patient out of harm’s way. For example, a patient might have suffered bullet or stab wounds that may be bleeding heavily, and there might even be internal organ damage. A patient may have a broken arm or a leg, and wounds to the eyes or head also merit a visit to the ER. The same is true for chest pain or difficulty breathing, which may turn life threatening at any moment, if they are not already. A recent heart attack or stroke also call for emergency aid. But what about abdominal pain? Most cases of abdominal pain are in fact harmless, but if that pain is severe, long-lasting, and/or sudden, the patient should get emergency care, just to be safe. The underlying cause might be quite serious, such as internal bleeding or even cancer.

These emergency care sites can save a life, to be sure, but they should not be treated as a catch-all medical site. They are best reserved for patients in serious condition, and a patient with minor medical problems is advised to visit urgent care centers and walk in clinics instead. The ER is often expensive and time consuming to visit, which is impractical for getting minor medical issues addressed. Fortunately, if it is not clear what level of care a victim may need, they may visit a hybrid clinic; that is, a clinic that offers urgent and emergency care side by side. These flexible clinics might appear in a search results page for either urgent or emergency clinics.

Getting Urgent Care

As mentioned earlier, urgent care clinics are best for treating minor medical issues, and this is often known as getting “convenient care” since these clinics are relatively fast and inexpensive to visit. In fact, these clinics are quite common, and the industry for them is large and still growing. Over 2,000 urgent care sites can be found in the United States today, and a search such as “urgent care albuquerque” can easily show the name and address of several such sites. These clinics are often small and independent, run by nurse practitioners and physicians. Many of them can be found in strip malls, and some others are built into retailers (retail clinics) while yet others are found in hospitals. Those hospital clinics offer distinct care from the hospital itself.

Wait times at these clinics are relatively short, often just 15 minutes, and a guest can ask for a variety of services. For example, they can visit the clinics’ pharmacy to get a prescription drug refill, and during influenza season, guests may get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu. Four in five urgent care sites can provide treatment for bone fractures, and practically all of these clinics can offer medical aid for wrist or ankle sprains. The nurses on staff can provide lotion and ointment for bad cases of rash and sunburn, and they can also offer stitches and bandages for shallow cuts and wounds.

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