Everyone needs professional medical attention sometimes, and when a person suffers an injury or illness, it is important that a nearby adult can take them to the closest urgent care center or emergency room right away. Different medical cases may call for emergency or urgent care, which are two different things. For more minor and everyday illness or wounds, finding the closest urgent care clinic is a good idea, while serious injuries call for emergency care right away. If a person does not know the closest urgent care center by heart, they can look up “closest urgent care near me” or “emergency clinics nearby” and find those clinics. An Internet search will show the name, address, and hours of the closest urgent care clinics or emergency rooms, and the patient may look for 24-hour sites if they have to. They may do this if the patient needs help at an odd time of day, such as 2:00 AM. Meanwhile, a parent may look up pediatricians or pediatric urgent care centers in particular if a child is hurt, as conventional clinics expect adult patients.
Major medical cases call for emergency care, and this can in fact save a life. The doctors and physicians at an emergency clinic or hospital will have the right training and medicine to get a patient stable and get them out of harm’s way. A patient may have suffered a broken arm or leg, for example, or an injury to the head or their eyes. Bullet wounds or stab wounds also call for a visit to emergency services, and those wounds may be bleeding heavily (and there may even be internal organ damage). If a patient has serious chest pain or difficulty breathing, emergency care is the right call, as such conditions may soon turn life-threatening if they aren’t already. And as for abdominal pain, most abdominal pain cases are in fact harmless. But if the pain is severe, sudden, and/or long lasting, emergency care is the safest option, since the underlying cause might be something quite serious, such as cancer or internal bleeding.
It may be noted that emergency care sites should not be treated as a catch-all for medical cases, since they are best reserved for patients in dire conditions. Rather, the closest urgent care center is the best option for minor medical cases, and for the most part, urgent care is much more affordable and time-efficient than emergency services anyway. This is one reason why urgent care is often known as “convenient care”. Meanwhile, some clinics are a hybrid model, meaning that they provide urgent care and emergency care side by side. This is helpful if it is not clear what level of care a patient might need.
All About Urgent Care
The urgent care field is a big one, and there are many walk in clinics to be found across the United States today. In fact, some 2,000 of them have been built since the year 2000, and all cities and most towns have at least a few. A typical urgent care center or walk in clinic will be staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can treat a wide variety of minor health ailments among patients. These clinics tend to be small and independent, but they can sometimes form small local networks with one another. A clinic that is running smoothly may treat three patients per hour (on average), and a guest may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes. Many such clinics are found in strip malls, though some are built into retailers or even in hospitals (which offer distinct care from the hospital itself).
Guests at an urgent care clinic may visit to get a prescription drug refill at the pharmacy there, or get medicinal relief from the common cold or flu. Four in five walk in clinics also offer treatment options for bone fractures, and nearly all such clinics can treat ankle or wrist sprains (common injuries). Patients at a clinic may also get stitches and bandages for shallow cuts when nurses help them, and a patient may get lotion or ointment for a bad rash or sunburn. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit urgent care clinics.