Every year across the United States, millions of people may get hurt or ill, and when this happens, they may need professional medical attention. A nearby responsible adult may look up local urgent care centers or walk in clinics online, and enter a phrase such as “urgent care centers san diego CA” or “24 hour urgent care near me dallas TX”. Doing this may show a short list of nearby urgent care centers and their name, address, and hours of operation. If the patient needs help at an odd time of day, the helper may look up 24-hour urgent care centers in particular. An if a victim has suffered serious injuries or conditions, they will need the emergency room (ER) instead, or an emergency clinic.
Going to the ER
Not all medical cases are serious enough to require emergency care, but if a patient’s life is in danger, they will certainly need the ER, where doctors and physicians will have the right training and medicine to help them. A patient might need this level of care, for example, if they have suffered a broken arm or leg, or if they have bullet wounds or stab wounds that are bleeding heavily. The same is true if the patient has experienced an injury to the head or one or both eyeballs. Difficulty breathing and chest pain also call for the ER, since such conditions might turn life threatening at any moment, if they are not already. And what about abdominal pain? Most cases of abdominal pain are in fact harmless, though if that pain is sudden, severe, and/or long lasting, then emergency care is recommended. The underlying cause might be quite serious.
While emergency care can treat patients effectively, the ER should not be thought of as a catch-all medical attention site. The ER, and emergency care in general, is best reserved for patients in serious condition who urgently need it. Besides that, visiting the ER is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive, and not at all practical for minor medical cases. But if it’s not clear what level of care a victim might need, they can be taken to a hybrid care clinic. Such clinics offer urgent and emergency care side by side, making them flexible and convenient for any patient’s needs. Such clinics might appear on the results page when looking for either urgent care centers or emergency clinics.
Urgent Care Done Right
Meanwhile, urgent care centers are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who are trained to handle minor, non life-threatening medical cases. The good news is that many such urgent care centers exist today; over 2,500 of them have been built across the United States since the year 2000, and all cities have some (and most towns do, too). A typical urgent care clinic is a small and independent medical care site, though they have been known to form local networks with one another. A clinic that is running smoothly may see three patients per hour, and many of them accept various healthcare insurance policies. A guest there can reasonably expect a wait time of around 15 minutes before being seen. Overall, urgent care centers can provide convenient care that is much faster and less expensive than the ER, adding to their appeal.
As for where to find them, many urgent care centers are built into strip malls, making them easy to find and get parking for. Others are built into large retailer such as Target or Wal-Mart, and those clinics often feature a pharmacy for the convenience of shoppers. Other clinics may be built into a hospital, and they provide medical care that is distinct from the hospital’s.
Nearly all urgent care centers will include a pharmacy, where trained pharmacists can refill a guest’s drug prescription quickly and conveniently. Meanwhile, a guest at such clinics may also visit to get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu, and upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit these clinics. Around 80% of these clinics also offer care for bone fractures, and nearly all of them can also take care of wrist or ankle sprains. Patients may get stitches and bandages for shallow cuts and wounds, and they can also get lotion and ointment for bad cases of sunburn and rashes.