Sometimes, Americans set up doctor’s appointments or visit the dentist for routine checkups. But health cannot always be predicted, and many Americans young and old today may sometimes suffer from unexpected illness or injury. Should this happen, that person, or a nearby responsible adult, must be able to find a 24 hour walk in clinic nearby, a 24 hour emergency care center, or a similar medical facility. Urgent care is for everyday afflictions, and emergency care is meant for life-threatening health problems, and this distinction is important to make. However, some care centers are in fact combining these two models, to form a sort of hybrid. A 24 hour walk in clinic that follows this model may have the medical staff and equipment for chest pain, breathing difficulties, cuts, the common cold, or anything else. This makes them flexible and helpful for patients. But someone who conducts an urgent online search must be careful that they find a facility that meets their needs.
What to Look For
Someone who is suffering a health issue can, if able, perform an online search for local 24 hour walk in clinic locations or other medical center for their problem. If they cannot, it is vital that someone else nearby is able to handle this instead, and find a 24 hour walk in clinic that fits the victim’s needs. What should be sought out? There is some variance among health clinics today, as some treat only urgent care patients while others are dedicated to emergency care only, and yet others may be a combination of those two models. A person who is suffering a life-threatening condition should have this made clear in the Internet search, such as “emergency care near me” or “hospital ER Boston” as an example. By contrast, someone who needs urgent but not emergency care can search “24 hour walk in clinic” and visit either a regular urgent care clinic or a hybrid one, and get the help that they need. What is the difference?
Non life-threatening health problems call for a 24 hour walk in clinic or something similar, and while some centers may not be open 24 hours a day, most should have fairly broad hours of operation. These urgent care clinics are common and convenient. Many thousands of them exist across the United States today, and most are either independent or part of a small network with each other, and they are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who have the training and equipment to deal with everyday illness and wounds. In the 2015 fiscal year, for example, urgent care clinics reported receiving about 12,000 patients each, which figures to about 32 per day or three per hour. A patient may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes if such a clinic is running smoothly, and many clinics accept various healthcare insurance policies.
Such clinics can treat the common cold and flu, for example, and offer medicine for relief. These clinics can also take care of upper respiratory issues or allergies, or asthma, too. Four out of five urgent care clinics can take care of bone fractures, and most if not all of them can also help with a sprained ankle or wrist. The staff may also offer stitches and bandages for cuts, and such clinics often have pharmacies in them.
What might call for emergency care, such as at a hospital ER? This is for life-threatening cases that urgent care centers cannot handle. However, doctors and physicians who work at emergency care centers will have the training and equipment to deal with broken arms or legs, head wounds, or even stab or bullet sounds that may threaten the patient’s life. Similarly, patients may have serious chest pain or breathing trouble that could threaten their life, so emergency care is essential for this. However, it should be noted that not all ER patients even needed this level of care, and instead, they could have visited an urgent care clinic. Victims and their caretakers today are urged to make the distinction between urgent and emergency care and know exactly the right place to visit for handling a health issue, big or small.