Many Americans today may suffer from injuries, illnesses, or other medical conditions or trauma that require medical attention. For more minor and everyday illnesses and maladies, visiting a walk in clinic may be helpful, and the nurses there can handle all sorts of maladies to provide urgent care. But it should be noted that urgent car and emergency are are not the same thing, and clinic care may sometimes not be sufficient. If a patient is in life-threatening condition, emergency room care is necessary, and an emergency room doctor will help stabilize the patient. An emergency room doctor will have the training and equipment and medicine needed to get any patient on the road to recovery, even from grievous injuries or conditions.
Seeing an Emergency Room Doctor
Not all medical maladies call for a visit to an ER to see an emergency room doctor, and everyday wounds and illnesses are best treated at an urgent care clinic instead. This is an important distinction to make. But if someone is hurt or ill and a nearby adult isn’t sure whether to take them to urgent or emergency care, they may err on the side of caution and choose to take them to an emergency room doctor. That person may either call an ambulance or provide personal transport to the hospital.
A hospital will have an emergency room ward, but it may be noted that some clinics today are a hybrid model that provides both urgent and emergency care for maximum flexibility. Either way, a patient may be stabilized there if they have large broken bones, heavy bleeding, head injuries, or difficulty breathing. A pained and constricted chest may lead to cardiac or respiratory arrest, which can threaten a life. Meanwhile, bullet or stab wounds or damaged internal organs are also quite serious and call for an emergency room doctor’s attention at once. Injuries to the eyes or head also merit this level of care. But it may be noted that some ER episodes could have been handled at an urgent care center instead, anywhere from 44-65% of them or so.
Visiting Urgent Care
Meanwhile, if a person is suffering from a non life-threatening injury or illness, they may have a nearby responsible adult take them to a local urgent care center for treatment. If no one present already knows of such a clinic, they can find one online with a PC or mobile device. A query such as “urgent care near me” complete with the user’s hometown or city name or ZIP code may help show the address and name of local clinics like that. Personal transport can be used to get there. In some cases, the patient may even be able to drive themselves there.
A walk in clinic is not a hospital, but rather, a small and independent care center for non life-threatening issues. Many of them are built into strip malls to make them easy to find and get parking for, and some of them are in fact built into larger structures such as hospitals or retailers. A hospital clinic may be visited for non-emergency care, and that clinic will provide care distinct from that of the hospital at large. Meanwhile, a retail clinic is one found in a larger retailer such as Target or Wal-Mart, and will probably have its own pharmacy and staff of pharmacists on hand. Shoppers may appreciate the chance to get their drug prescriptions refilled during their shopping trip.
If a clinic is running smoothly, the staff may see about three patients per hour, and a guest may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes or so. The staff of nurse practitioners and physicians, meanwhile, can address a wide range of medical issues. Upper respiratory issues are common here, and many patients may come seeking medicinal relief from the cold, flu, or similar influenza. Lotion and ointment may be provided for bad rashes or sunburn, and four in five such clinics also offer services for bone fractures. Patients may also visit to get braces for sprained wrists or ankles if need be, and the staff of nurses may provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts (such if patient stepped on broken glass).