Every single day, many Americans will get injured or ill, and they will need to be taken to medical services right away to get help. This is where emergency medical and urgent services are necessary, but it may be noted that emergency medical and urgent services are quite diverse. 24 hour emergency care is not, in fact, the same thing as 24 hour urgent care, even if “emergency” and “urgent” sound like a similar idea. When a victim needs help, a nearby person may look up emergency medical and urgent services online if they don’t already know a place, with a query such as “24 hour emergency clinic near me” or “24 hour walk in clinic nearby” if the victim needs help at an odd time of day. Not all clinics are open 24 hours per day, but some are, and with an online search, a person can determine the hours, address, and name of any clinic in the area. So, what are the specifics of emergency medical and urgent services?
What Emergency Care is For
Emergency care, put simply, describes medicine that can help a patient with serious injuries and illness, and in many cases, emergency services are intended to save a life. The doctors and physicians at an emergency clinic or a hospital’s ER will have all the right training and medicine to get patient stabilized and out of danger. For example, a patient may have a broken arm or leg, or they may have suffered an injury to the head or eyeballs. The patient might have suffered bullet or stab wounds, which may be bleeding heavily. Meanwhile, serious chest pain or difficulty breathing also call for the ER, as such conditions might soon turn life-threatening, if they aren’t already. The same is true of a patient who just suffered a heart attack or a stroke, no matter how minor. As for abdominal pain, most cases are in fact harmless, but if the pain is severe, sudden, and/or long lasting, then emergency care is the right choice. The underlying cause might be serious, such as internal bleeding or even cancer.
It may be noted, though, that emergency services should not be treated as a catch-all medical option, since they are best reserved for serious medical cases. It is expensive and time consuming to visit the ER in most cases, and patients with minor medical issues are much better off visiting urgent care clinics and walk in clinics instead. Fortunately, some medical clinics today are a hybrid model, meaning that they offer both emergency medical and urgent services side by side for maximum flexibility. These clinics are the best option if it is not clear what level of care a victim might need.
Getting Urgent Care
Meanwhile, urgent care concerns itself with more minor, everyday medical issues that are not serious enough for the emergency room. Not that urgent care is unimportant, though, since these walk in clinics prove highly popular and the industry is growing rapidly in the U.S. Over 2,000 urgent care centers have been built since the early 2000s, and more are being constructed every year. These are small, independent clinics that are typically staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can treat minor medical issues. Sometimes, a few of these clinics might form local networks. And visiting them is convenient, since these clinics may see three patients per hour if they are running smoothly, and usually cost much less than the ER.
Many of these clinics are built into strip mall, and some are found in retailers or even inside a hospital. Nearly all of them will have a pharmacy on hand, so guests can get prescription drug refills (very common in retail clinics). Similarly, during influenza season, guests at these clinics can get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu, and upper respiratory issues may be taken care of, too. Four in five such clinics offers care for bone fractures, and nearly all of them can provide treatment for wrist and ankle sprains. The nurses on staff can provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts, and they may also offer lotion and ointment for bad cases of sunburn or rashes.