October 4, 2022

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Every day, millions of Americans will get hurt or ill, and in most cases, they are going to need professional medical attention. A nearby party may look up walk in clinics or emergency care centers as needed, and find them online for convenience. That person could enter “urgent care centers near me Dallas TX”, for example, or “emergency centers San Diego CA” to find those clinics at once. If the patient needs help at an odd time of day, the other party can specify that they need a 24 hour medical care site. Doing this might bring up a short list of medical centers of the desired type, along with the name and address of each one. Urgent medical care and emergency healthcare services are two different types of effective treatment, though, and it’s important to know the difference. Effective treatment for major injuries calls for the ER, and effective treatment for something like a sunburn requires only a walk in clinic.

Effective Treatment at the ER

As mentioned above, emergency medical care is required for patients who are in serious, or even life-threatening, condition. Often, this is done at a hospital’s ER or at an emergency care clinic, where doctors and physicians will have the proper training and medicine needed to stabilize a patient. A patient going in for effective treatment at the ER may have a broken arm or a leg, for example, or they may have suffered a head injury or damage to one or both eyes. Bullet wounds and stab wounds also call for the ER, and those wounds might be bleeding quite heavily. Other conditions such as difficulty breathing and chest pain require emergency aid as well, since those issues might turn life threatening at any time (if they aren’t already). And what about abdominal pain? Most cases of abdominal pain are actually harmless, but if that pain is sudden, severe, and/or long lasting, then the underlying cause could be serious, and that calls for the ER.

While the ER can provide effective treatment for patients in dire condition, that ER should not be thought of as a catch-all medical site. Patients with minor medical needs are best off visiting convenient care sites such as urgent care clinics, especially since the ER is too expensive and time-consuming for minor medical problems. Besides, it is best to leave room open in the ER for patients who truly need it. But in cases where it’s unclear what level of care a patient may need, they can be taken to a hybrid clinic. These are effective treatment centers that offer both urgent care and emergency care side by side, and this makes them flexible for a patient’s convenience.

Urgent Care Done Right

If a medical problem is not serious enough for emergency services, then urgent care centers and walk in clinic can probably handle it. The good news is that this is a booming industry, and since the year 2000, over 2,500 urgent care centers have been built across the United States. A typical urgent care site is staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who have the right training and medicine for treating minor medical issues, and these clinics also tend to be small and independent facilities. Some of them may even be open 24 hours a day for convenience. They can be found built into strip malls in most cases, and some may be built into retailers for convenience to shoppers (often including a pharmacy) while others are built inside hospitals. A clinic that is running smoothly may see three patients per hour or so.

A patient may visit an urgent care center to access the pharmacy, and get a prescription drug refill. That, or they may visit during influenza season and get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu. Meanwhile, 80% of urgent care sites can also treat bone fractures, and nearly all of them can also take care of wrist or ankle sprains. The nurses on staff can provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts and wounds, and they can also offer lotion and ointment for bad cases of sunburn or skin rashes. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to seek effective treatment at walk in clinics.