In everyday life, any person, child or adult, may sometimes become ill or injured, and if a person’s health is compromised, it is critical that they, or someone close by, looks for nearby medical help and gets the victim to either a walk in clinic or an emergency room, and an emergency medical physician can take care of them, along with staffs of nurses or doctors, depending on where the victim goes. Often, a victim or a person nearby can use a search on a smart phone such as “24 hour emergency clinics near me” or “urgent medical care near me” to find an emergency clinic, a regular walk in clinic, or a hospital with a fully equipped emergency room (ER) or an ICU (intensive care unit). An emergency medical physician and others can help someone in critical condition, but anyone who is hurt, or near a victim, should know what different sorts of facilities are out there, and what is treated at each. Going to the wrong place could be an issue.
Hospitals and the ER
For life-threatening injuries or illnesses, a person should be taken to a hospital’s emergency room, either by ambulance or a friend, family member, co-worker, or anyone else who will lend personal transportation to the victim. What ailments call for visiting the ER? Life-threatening injuries such as broken arms or legs, serious chest pain, difficulty breathing, head wounds, stab wounds, and bullet wounds all call for the ER and the help of an emergency medical physician. An emergency medical physician, a doctor, and others at a hospital will have the training and the equipment needed to get someone out of critical condition and help them recover, but sometimes, those who visit the ER actually do not need this level of treatment. In fact, it has been determined that about 44% to 65% of ER episodes could have been handled at a walk in or urgent care clinic instead, and this can be an issue when an emergency medical physician or a doctor could spend that time on someone with a life-threatening condition or injury, and this can be a expensive route to take for the victim in any case. Someone with non life-threatening issues should instead opt for a regular clinic, where they can get proper treatment.
While hospitals and the ER are for serious injuries and illness, a walk in clinic is a common route for people who suffer more minor wounds or medical problems, and these clinics are widespread across the United States and often exist independently or in small networks, often with trained physicians on hand. Finding one of these urgent care centers can be as simple as searching for “urgent care clinic near me” or “urgent care 24 hours nearby” into a computer or smart phone if the user or someone nearby has a medical problem that needs attention. Such clinics, when operating normally, can see up to three patients per hour, and a patient may expect a wait time of about fifteen minutes on average. What is more, these clinics also offer care at a lower price than hospitals, though actual costs will vary based on any number of factors.
What is treated at a walk in clinic? They are staffed by nurse practitioners and often an emergency medical physician, and they may take care of ankle sprains (25,000 Americans get them per year), shallow cuts that call for stitches, and often bone fractures (four out of five urgent care clinics take care of bone fractures). On top of all this, a clinic may also offer medicine and prescription drugs for the common cold and the flu, and some other illnesses as well. These clinics will usually have a pharmacy in them as well, and these clinics commonly take care of upper respiratory problems too.
Some urgent clinics are actually retail clinics, meaning that they are built into larger retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens, and since these retailers are easy to find and have ample parking for their guests, these clinics are easy to find and visit. They will often have a pharmacy as well to refill drug prescriptions as needed, and a physician may be present.