Americans young and old will sometimes suffer from illnesses, medical conditions, or injuries that call for a visit to emergency care or urgent care centers for treatment. Whenever a victim needs care, it is important that a nearby responsible adult either knows such a convenient care location already, or can look one up online. An online search, done with a PC or a smartphone, may show nearby clinics of the correct type when the user enters a query such as “emergency medicine physicians nearby” or “24 hour emergency care clinics.” Such a search can be narrowed down to find just urgent care clinics or emergency care ones, and at the latter, emergency medicine physicians and doctors can treat life-threatening injuries and conditions. In the former case, urgent care centers can take care of more minor wounds and illnesses in patients. But in any case, it is important to find the right level of care, since emergency and urgent care are in fact two different things.
Getting Care From Emergency Medicine Physicians
The most dire medical conditions call for emergency care in particular, and a patient may get emergency care either at an emergency clinic or in a hospital’s ER. The doctors and emergency medicine physicians on staff will have the proper training and medicine needed to get a patient out of danger and allow them to stabilize and recover, which goes beyond the scope of urgent care. Visiting emergency care services may be expensive and time-consuming, but if a life is in danger, this is the right call.
What calls for this great level of care? A patient may need the help of emergency medicine physicians if that patient has suffered a heart attack or a stroke, for example, or if that patient is experiencing difficulty breathing or major chest pain. Breathing issues and chest pain may suddenly become life-threatening without warning, if that’s not already the case, but emergency medicine physicians can handle it. Meanwhile, abdominal pain may call for emergency treatment if that pain is intense, long-lasting, and/or sudden. Minor abdominal pain may just be harmless gas or indigestion, but major pain merits medical attention. It may be a burst appendix, cancer, or internal bleeding, or something else quite serious.
Major trauma also necessitates a visit to emergency care. A patient may have bullet or stab wounds, for example, and such wounds may bleed heavily and cause internal organ damage. Or, a patient may have suffered broken arms or legs, or they have experienced trauma to the head or the eyeballs. It may be noted, though, that lesser injuries probably do not call for the ER, and emergency care should not be treated as a universal medical option. Minor wounds or illnesses call for urgent care at a walk in clinic instead, and in most cases, that option is much more price-friendly and less time-consuming than the ER anyway.
Urgent and Hybrid Clinics
If a victim’s illness, condition, or wound are not serious or life-threatening, any of the countless hundreds of urgent cafe clinics across the United States can help. All cities and many towns have multiple such clinics, and these tend to be small, independent clinics staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians. Many such clinics are built into strip malls for ease of access and parking, while some others are built into retailers. These are retail clinics, which may conveniently offer prescription drug refills to shoppers at their built-in pharmacy. Hospital clinics are indeed built into hospitals, and they offer separate care from the hospital itself.
Yet other clinics are a hybrid model; that is, they offer both urgent and emergency care side by side, making them a flexible option for victims. If it is unclear what level of care a patient needs, or if the nearest emergency care clinic or ER is too far away, such hybrid clinics can be very helpful. When someone is hurt, a nearby adult may look for these hybrid clinics in particular.
Urgent care often entails getting stitches and bandages for shallow cuts, and many walk in clinics also offer braces and other treatment for sprained wrists. Patients may also have bone fractures taken care of, and they can get medicinal relief from the cold or flu during influenza season.