Americans young and old will sometimes need professional medical care, and in some cases, finding nearby emergency care clinics can save a life. In the case of more minor medical cases, the best in urgent care services around can do a lot of good, and many of the best in urgent care services nearby may be open 24 hours a day. When a victim needs help, a nearby responsible adult can and should look up emergency centers or walk in clinics as needed, and an Internet search can show the name, address, and hours of the best in urgent care services or emergency care clinics nearby. Not all of the best emergency clinics or the best in urgent care services will be open 24 hours a day, but a seeker may look for them in particular if a victim needs help at an odd time of day. But what is the difference between urgent and emergency care, exactly? The best in urgent care services can handle non life-threatening medical cases, and emergency services can handle more severe medical needs.
All About Emergency Care
As stated above, emergency care services such as a hospital’s ER are necessary for severe medical cases where a life may be in danger. The doctors and physicians at emergency clinics or a hospital ER will have the training and medicine needed to save a life. What might bring a victim to this level of care? Broken arms or legs are a fairly common reason to need emergency services, and the same is true if a patient has suffered head injuries or an injury to one or both eyeballs. Chest pain and difficulty breathing are also valid reasons to get rushed into emergency care, as these conditions may soon turn life-threatening, if they are not already. A patient who recently suffered a heart attack or stroke will also need emergency care, but what about abdominal pain? Most abdominal pain cases are in fact harmless, but if the pain is severe, sudden, and/or long lasting, then emergency care is the safest option, since the underlying cause may be something serious such as internal bleeding or even cancer.
Take note that emergency care services should not be treated as a catch-all medical care center, as they are best reserved for serious medical cases. Minor cases are best taken care of at urgent care clinics, which are typically faster and cheaper to visit, anyway. It is called “convenient care” for good reasons. But if it is not clear what level of care a patient may need, hybrid clinics may be the best option. These are flexible clinics that offer both urgent and emergency care services side by side.
What to Expect From Urgent Care
Meanwhile, a patient who needs help with minor, non life-threatening wounds or illness may visit any number of urgent care clinics or walk in clinics found across the United States today. Just over 2,000 of these clinics can be found across the nation today, and they are typically small, independent clinics that are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians. Sometimes, these clinics may form small local networks with one another. If such a clinic is running fairly smoothly, it may see about three patients per hour, and a guest may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes. Many of these urgent care centers can be found in strip malls, and some are built into large retailers or even in hospitals. Hospital clinics provide separate care and staff from the hospital itself.
A guest at an urgent care center may visit the pharmacy there and get a prescription drug refill. Many retail clinics have a prominent pharmacy, so shoppers may pick up prescription drug refills at their convenience. Guests at these walk in clinics may also get medicinal relief from the common cold or flu while visiting. Meanwhile, four in five urgent care clinics offer treatment for bone fractures, and nearly all urgent care clinic also provide treatment for sprained wrists or ankles. The nurses on staff may provide lotion or ointment for bad cases of sunburn or skin rashes, and these nurses may also provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts. Many patients also visit these clinics for treatment of upper respiratory issues.