Everyone needs medical attention from time to time, and when a victim has suffered an injury or illness, it is important a nearby responsible adult can find the right medical care clinic for them. This may mean looking online to find urgent care clinics in the area, and a seeker may use a smartphone or a PC to look up “urgent care clinics near me” or “24 hour walk in clinics nearby” to find a place if they do not already know one. If the patient needs urgent care at an odd time of day, the seeker may specify that they are looking for a 24 hour clinic, as different clinics may have varying hours of operation. And for more serious injuries or conditions, not even urgent care clinics will suffice; the patient will need emergency care at the hands of doctors and physicians with the right training and tools. What is the difference between urgent and emergency care?
Getting Emergency Care
Put simply, emergency care is necessary for any victim whose life is in danger. Some injuries, illnesses, or conditions call for this level of care to save a life, and emergency clinics or a hospital’s emergency room (ER) will be just right for the job. A patient may need this level of care, for example, if they have suffered broken arms or legs, or if they suffered an injury to the head or their eyes. Bullet or stab wounds may also call for emergency care, and such injuries may have caused organ damage or heavy bleeding. A patient may need emergency care for serious chest pain or difficulty breathing, which may become life-threatening at any moment, if they are not already. Abdominal pain may require a visit to the ER if it is intense, sudden, and/or long lasting. Most abdominal pain is fairly harmless, such as gas or indigestion, but serious pain calls for emergency services, just to be safe.
A hospital’s ER can save a life, but it should not be treated as a universal medical care site. It is best reserved for patients whose life are in danger, and a patient with only minor wounds or illnesses is better off finding urgent care clinics. After all, going to the ER for minor problems is time consuming, expensive, and wasteful, while urgent care clinics can provide necessary care with greater convenience. This is why urgent care is also often known as “convenient care.” It may be also be noted that some clinics today offer both urgent and emergency care alike for flexibility. This is helpful if it is unclear what level of care a patient might need.
Getting Urgent Care
As described earlier, urgent care clinics can take care of minor and non life-threatening illnesses and wounds, often known as convenient care. This sort of care can be found at any of the thousands of urgent care and walk in clinics found across the United States, which are usually small, independent clinics that are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians. Sometimes, these clinics might even form small local networks with one another.
Many of these urgent care clinics are found in strip malls, where they are easy to find and get parking for. Others are built into retailers such as Target or Wal-Mart, known as retail clinics. These clinics usually have pharmacies in them for the convenience of shoppers who need to pick up a prescription drug refill. Some clinics are even found in hospitals, offering distinct care from the hospital at large for the convenience of guests.
What calls for urgent care? Many patients visit urgent care clinics for shallow cuts, which nurse can tend to with stitches and bandages, such as if the patient had stepped on broken glass. Patients may also get lotion and ointment for skin rashes or bad sunburn, and patients may also visit the pharmacy. During influenza season, guests at these clinics may get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu, and four in five of these clinics can also treat bone fractures. Similarly, patients may get treatment for sprained wrists or ankles with ice packs and braces. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit urgent care clinics like these.