Americans young and old will sometimes suffer from wounds, injuries, or illness in their lives, and it is vital that someone nearby can get emergency medical and urgent services for a victim. This can even save a life, so adults near a victim are urged to know where and how to find help. A 24 hour walk in clinic, for example, can help for everyday wounds or illness, while emergency centers are best reserved for life-threatening injuries. Urgent care and emergency care are both forms of medical assistance, but there is a distinction between them, and a person looking for care should know what they are looking for. Some clinics, however, might offer both emergency medical and urgent services, a fairly recent innovation. This can provide some convenient or even life-saving flexibility for a patient who needs emergency medical and urgent services right away. What is there to expect from emergency medical and urgent services today?
The most serious injuries and illness call for emergency medical services. No ordinary walk-in clinic will do; a life is in danger, so a person must find proper emergency care for a victim. Hospitals will generally have an ER, or emergency room, and some hybrid clinics can offer emergency care as well as urgent care. A person looking for this service for a victim should specify what they are looking for in a search online. On a smart phone or PC, a person can search for something such as “emergency care Los Angeles CA” or “emergency rooms Manhattan” to find a location. This may give the names and addresses of local hospitals or hybrid clinics that offer life-saving treatment.
Serious injuries such as broken bones or legs, or head wounds can justify a visit to emergency services. Stab wounds, bullet wounds, or deep cuts that are bleeding heavily call for emergency services, and difficulty breathing or heavy chest pain also require the ER. Such conditions might worsen and threaten the victim’s life unless they are taken to emergency care, where doctors and physicians can take care of them. Some patients to the ER, however, have wounds that are easily taken care of at urgent care instead, and they are urged to avoid the ER and visit a walk in clinic instead. The ER is best reserved for victims in grave danger.
Urgent Care and Hybrid Clinics
Everyday wounds or illness that don’t threaten a life can be handled at an urgent care clinic. The good news is that such a clinic may never be far away, as there are many thousands of them across the United States today in towns and cities. These clinics may be open 24 hours a day, or at least have wide hours of operation for patients’ convenience. Some of these clinics are the aforementioned hybrid models, which can provide both emergency medical and urgent services. Other centers are for urgent care only, and their staffs of nurse practitioners and physicians have the training, medicine, and equipment to help their patients.
These clinics tend to be small and independent, or they may be in small networks with each other. Some urgent care clinics are in fact retail clinics, meaning that they are built into larger retailers such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and more. These retailers have ample parking and are easy to find, which makes them convenient for some patients who need care. Some urgent care clinics are also built into hospitals, though there typically isn’t any overlap between the clinics’ care and care provided by the hospital itself. Most of these clinics, if running smoothly, may see about three patients per hour, and a patient may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes or so.
At an urgent care clinics, a patient may have shallow cuts treated with stitches and bandages, and they can also expect treatment for sprained ankles and wrists (sprained ankles are common). Four out of every five such clinics can also take care of bone fractures, and these clinics can also offer relief for upper respiratory issues. Ointment and lotion for rashes can also be provided. And many such clinics, such as retail clinics, may also have pharmacies in them for refilling drug prescriptions for the patient’s convenience.