Every day, many people young and old get hurt or ill, and they’re going to need professional medical attention. But not all medical cases call for emergency care; rather, everyday wounds and illnesses call for urgent care. In fact, urgent care is often known as “convenient care” since there are so many walk in clinics across the United States today. If a victim needs help, a nearby person can look up local urgent care clinics online, and they can search for “urgent care centers near me 24 hrs” to find one at any time of day. When looking for urgent care nearby, that person can find the name, address, and hours of each local clinic, and the same may be true for finding emergency clinics, too. And what about children? This is where pediatric urgent care comes in.
For clarification, emergency care is a high tier of medical care that concerns itself with severe and often life-threatening medical cases. An ER is not the place for a sprained wrist or a cold; rather, patients there may have a broken arm or leg, or they might have suffered a head wound or damage to the eyeballs. Patients may have suffered trauma such as bullet or stab wounds that are bleeding heavily, and some patients may even have serious chest pain or difficulty breathing. Such conditions may soon turn life threatening at any time, if they aren’t already. A recent heart attack or stroke also merits a visit to the ER. Even serious abdominal pain may call for the ER in many cases.
Going to emergency care sites is expensive and time consuming, though, and impractical for minor medical cases. Not to mention that space is best saved for patients who truly need it. Instead, a patient with minor medical needs can visit any number of urgent care centers, which are typically quick and affordable to visit, another reason to call this “convenient care.”
Urgent Care for Children and Adults
Urgent care can handle a wide variety of minor medical issues, and there are over 2,000 urgent care centers found all across the United States today. Most of these clinics are small and independent, and they tend to be run by nurse practitioners and physicians. Such clinics sometimes form local networks with each other, too, and some are open 24 hours a day for convenience. An urgent care clinic that is running smoothly may see three patients per hour, and a typical wait time for patients may be around 15 minutes.
Where are these clinics located? Many are in strip malls for easy access and parking spots, and some others are built into retailers. These retail clinic are helpful for shoppers who need to pick up a drug prescription at the pharmacy, and shoppers may want to check the hours of the clinic before visiting. Yet other clinics are built into hospitals, and they offer distinct care from the hospital itself.
Children and babies, though, must be taken to pediatric clinics in particular, since regular clinics are meant for grown patients. These pediatric clinics are staffed with pediatricians who are experts on the anatomy and health needs of children and babies, so concerned parents should look up these pediatric clinics in particular if their child is hurt. The doctors may apply a splint or bandage for a child, or refer them to a hospital or other specialized medical care site.
Meanwhile, what can a guest expect at a regular walk in clinic? Not only can they visit the pharmacy for a prescription drug refill, but also get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu during influenza season. The nurses on staff can provide lotion and ointment for bad cases of rashes and sunburn, and the staff can also apply stitches and bandages to shallow cuts. Four in five of these clinics also offer bone fracture treatment, and it’s very common for these clinics to also provide treatment for wrist and ankle sprains.
Finally, take note that some clinics today are a hybrid, meaning that they offer both urgent and emergency care side by side for maximum flexibility. These clinics are a great choice if it is not clear what level of medical care a patient will need.