Knowing When and Where to Find Medical Care

Knowing When and Where to Find Medical Care

The modern American healthcare system is a large and broad one, and there is more to it than the ER at a hospital (though there are plenty of those, too). If a person gets ill or injured and need medical attention, then a nearby person can look up effective treatment right away with an Internet search. This person might look up “emergency centers near me” or “24 hour emergency care nearby” for serious cases, and for minor cases, they can look up “24 hour walk in clinic nearby” or “urgent care centers near me.” A search like these can bring up a number of local results, showing the name, hours, and address of each medical care site. If the patient is a child, a person should look up pediatric urgent care centers, and if the victim needs care fast, a person can look up “ER care without the wait.” What does it mean to look up “ER care without the wait”? Some emergency clinics might offer service relatively fast, such as at hybrid clinics that offer both urgent and emergency care. These clinics might appear in a search for “ER care without the wait.”

All About Emergency Care

Emergency and urgent care are two different things, and they are not to be confused. Emergency care concerns itself with serious, sometimes life-threatening cases that call for the highest level of medical care. A patient can get this care at a hospital’s ER or an emergency clinic, where doctors and physicians on staff will have the right training and medicine to save a life. For example, a patient may have a broken arm or a broken leg, or the patient may have bullet wounds or stab wounds that are bleeding heavily. A patient with breathing difficulties or chest pain will also need the ER, since conditions like those may turn life threatening at any moment, if they are not already. The same is true if the patient just had a heart attack or a stroke. The ER can also take care of injuries to the head or eyeballs. And what about abdominal pain? Most often, abdominal pain is harmless, but if that pain is sudden, severe, and/or life threatening, then the underlying cause might be quite serious and call for emergency care.

As mentioned earlier, there are hybrid clinics out there that can take care of a patient no matter their medical needs, making them quite flexible. Such clinics offer urgent and emergency care side by side, and they may come up in an online search for “ER care without the wait.” A hospital’s ER is very helpful, but visiting one often proves time consuming and expensive. It may also be noted that patients with minor medical issues are discouraged from visiting the ER, since it’s wasteful and the ER should be reserved for patients who truly need it. Patients with minor medical problems can visit either a hybrid clinic, or one of the many urgent care centers found across the United States today.

Getting Urgent Care

What about urgent care centers, or walk in clinics? These are often known as “convenient care” since they are highly numerous, and visiting them is often much faster and less expensive than visiting the ER. Many of them have been built since the year 2000, over 2,500 of them, and these clinic tend to be small and independent clinics staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians. Sometimes, these clinics can form small local networks with one another. If an urgent care center is running smoothly, then it may see three patients per hour, and a guest may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes.

Most of these clinics have a pharmacy on hand that guests can visit, and during influenza season, guests a clinic may get medicinal relief from the common cold or flu. Four in five of these clinics can take care of bone fractures, and nearly all of them can also take care of sprained wrists and ankles. Nurses on staff can provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts, and they can also offer lotion and ointment for bad rashes and sunburn cases. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit these clinics.

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