Emergency vs non-emergency | Medical center | Walk in clinic

When and How to Get Emergency Care

May 15, 2019


Americans often need medical assistance in their everyday lives, and they can be taken to urgent care clinics, (or walk in clinics), emergency clinics, and more to get treatment. If someone is ill or injured, a nearby responsible adult may look for a clinic in their area and take the patient there. This may involve looking for a 24 hour emergency room for serious conditions, and a 24 hour walk in clinic may be fine for more minor medical issues. The seeker may use the Internet to find a clinic near them, with queries such as “24 hour emergency room near me” or “24 hour emergency room near me Boston MA” to find something local. The seeker may even use their ZIP code along with “24 hour emergency room near me” to further refine the search. This is the best option for a patient in life-threatening condition, while more ordinary, non life-threatening issues can be handled at a walk in clinic. Going to the right type of clinic is essential. Fortunately, many clinics now offer both types of services for their patients. Searching “24 hour emergency room near me” may show such a hybrid clinic nearby.

Going to Emergency Care

A patient will need emergency care if they are suffering from life-threatening injuries or illness, and someone nearby should either call an ambulance or drive them to an emergency clinic or even a hospital’s ER. Such a patient will need to see doctors who have the training and equipment to get them out of harm’s way and allow safe recovery. Such a patient may suffer from serious chest pain or difficulty breathing, which may soon turn life-threatening. In other cases, the patient has suffered severe trauma, such as broken arms or legs or a head or eye wound. The patient may also have suffered from stab or bullet wounds, and they may have serious bleeding or damaged organs as well. Only an emergency clinics or a hybrid clinic will be equipped to help them and save a life.

It may be noted, though, that an emergency clinic should not be used for any medical problem. Many ER episodes could have been handled at an urgent care clinic instead, and going to urgent care instead is often less expensive and frees up room in the ER for someone who truly needs it. This may be why more hybrid clinics are being built, so that a patient with any medical need minor or serious may visit and get the proper level of care.

What Urgent Care Entails

If emergency care is for life-threatening injuries and illnesses, then urgent care takes care of the rest. A patient who has non life-threatening medical needs may take advantage of the many thousands of urgent care clinics to be found across the United States. And as mentioned above, some of them may in fact be hybrid clinics that can take care of any sort of medical problem, making them a flexible place to visit. Many urgent care or hybrid clinics can be found in strip malls for easy and convenient access, and others may be found inside hospitals or even large retailers. A hospital clinic offers distinct staff and medical services from the hospital at large, meaning that a patient may visit just the clinic itself and ignore the hospital around them. A retail clinic, meanwhile, is built into a major retailer such as Target or Wal-Mart and may often have a pharmacy. Such pharmacies are convenient for shoppers who need a prescription drug refill.

What sort of problems may call for urgent care? A patient may visit such clinics for medicinal relief against the common cold and flu, for example, especially during influenza season in the United States. The nurse practitioners and physicians at the clinic may also offer bandages and stitches for cuts, and they may also profile relief such as braces for sprained wrists or ankles. Four out of every five such clinics may provide care for bone fractures as well, and patients may also visit the pharmacy or have their upper respiratory tract examined for problems. Skin problems such as rashes from poison ivy may be taken care of with ointments and lotions.

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