Americans young and old sometimes need medical care for injuries or illness, and when this happens, a nearby responsible adult should find urgent medical services in the area. These urgent medical services, such as urgent care clinics and walk in clinics, are ideal for non life-threatening, minor medical care. Meanwhile, 24 hour emergency care is necessary for serious medical cases where the patient’s life may be in danger. Knowing what sort of urgent medical services to find is important when a patient is hurt or ill, and a nearby adult may look up urgent medical services online if they need to. They can specify that the patient needs urgent or emergency care, and specify that they need 24 hour care if they are searching during an odd time of day. What might urgent medical services do for a shallow cut or a bad sunburn? And what about emergency care?
What Emergency Care Can Do
Some medical cases are very serious, and the patient’s very life may be in danger. When this happens, the patient should be rushed to an emergency care clinic or a hospital’s ER right away, where trained doctors and physicians can get them stabilized. A patient may be taken to emergency care services, for example, if they are suffering from major abdominal or chest pain or difficulty breathing. Medical conditions like those can quickly turn life-threatening, if they aren’t already, and a doctor will know what to do. A patient may also have recently suffered a heart attack or a stroke, which also certainly calls for emergency services.
Injuries and trauma also require emergency services, if the injuries are serious enough. For example, a patient may have suffered broken arms or legs, or they have sustained injuries in the head or eyeballs. Damaged internal organs also call for emergency care, such as if the ribs broke and have punctured the lungs.
It may also be noted, however, that ordinary, non life-threatening wounds or illnesses very rarely actually call for emergency services. Many ER episodes could have (and probably should have) been taken care of at an urgent care clinic instead, which would be faster and probably less expensive for the patient anyway. Urgent care and emergency are are not the same. But for convenience, some urgent medical services are in fact a hybrid model, meaning that they offer both urgent and emergency care services side by side. This is helpful for medical cases where it is unclear what level of care the patient may need. These flexible facilities might be found with an Internet search if so desired.
Urgent Care and Walk In Clinics
Meanwhile, non life-threatening medical cases call for urgent care instead, which is a step below emergency care. Hospital emergency rooms should not be considered a catch-all medical site; in many cases, visiting a walk in clinic is a better idea. After all, a few thousand urgent care clinics can be found across the United States today, and they are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can treat a wide variety of minor medical maladies. These clinics can be found in strip malls in many cases, though some of them can also be found in retailers or even inside hospitals (they offer separate care from the hospital itself).
Not all of these clinic are open 24 hours a day, but many of them are, and a patient may expect a wait time of just 15 minutes if the clinic is running smoothly. These clinics are also generally much less expensive to visit than emergency rooms are.
A patient may visit an urgent care clinic if they are seeking medicinal relief from the common cold or flu during influenza season, or the patient may visit the clinic for its pharmacy. It is common for retail clinics to offer pharmacy so that shoppers can get prescription drug refills, for example. Also, four in five urgent care clinics offer bone fracture treatment, and most of them can also treat wrist or ankle sprains. Patients may get lotion and ointment for relief from a rash or sunburn, and a patient may also get stitches and bandages from the nurses on staff to take care of shallow cuts. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit walk in clinics like these.