Americans young and old sometimes suffer from injuries or illnesses that call for medical attention. The modern medical industry is a truly vast one, and a patient in need may be taken to an urgent care center, walk in clinics, 24 hour emergency care clinics, and more, many of which can be found online. When a victim needs care, a nearby responsible adult may look up local medical clinics if they don’t already know one, and find one that is local and currently open. Some such clinics are open 24 hours a day for patients who need care at odd times of the day, while others are largely open during the day and evening. What might necessitate a visit to a 24 hour walk in clinic or emergency services? Different abdominal pain causes may require some medical care, and others might not. Some of these abdominal pain causes are quite serious and call for emergency care, but other abdominal pain causes may only call for urgent care. This may be a matter of discretion.
While “urgent” and “emergency” care may sound similar, they are two different fields. Emergency care is for any patient who is suffering a life-threatening condition or injury, and they need doctors and surgeons to get stabilized and out of harm’s way. Most often, emergency clinics or hospital emergency rooms can provide this level of care. Why might someone need emergency care like this? Some abdominal pain causes are very serious, such as cancer or rips or injuries in the internal organs, and even internal bleeding. Strong and sudden pain may be a strong indicator that a victim needs emergency care, or long-lasting pain.
Abdominal pain causes are often relatively harmless, such as temporary gas or indigestion, and mild pain may only call for urgent care or can even be ignored. Serious pain may be dangerous, and of course calls for emergency care, just to be safe. A patient may get a diagnosis on the problem, which may in turn require surgery, medication, or anything else. But that is not all. Many patients who are taken to emergency care have suffered major trauma, such as broken arms or legs, or perhaps they have suffered a broken rib that punctured an internal organ. A patient may suffer from heavy bleeding or stab or bullet wounds, and some patients may visit emergency care because of head trauma. Serious chest pain or difficulty breathing also merit a visit to the ER, since such conditions may turn life-threatening at any time, if they aren’t already.
Emergency care can save a life, but a hospital’s ER should not be treated as a catch-all medical care facility. A victim with minor health issues can and probably should visit an urgent care clinic instead, which is usually cheaper and faster anyway. Some clinics are in fact a hybrid model, offering both urgent and emergency care side by side. This is helpful if it is unclear what level of care a patient needs.
Contrasting with emergency care, a victim may need urgent care if their health problems are relatively mild, or at least not life-threatening. Urgent care centers and walk in clinics can be found across the United States today and are often easy to find. Many of them are built into strip malls for easy access, and some are built into retailers, known as retail clinics. A Target or Walgreens may have a clinic inside, complete with a pharmacy for the convenience of shoppers. Not all such clinic are open 24 hours a day, but some of them are. Each one has a staff of nurse practitioners and physicians who can treat non life-threatening medical cases.
During influenza season, patients may visit these urgent care clinics for medicinal relief against the common cold and flu, not to mention visit the pharmacy. Four in five such clinics offer treatment for bone fractures, and most of them can also treat wrist or ankle sprains. The nurses may offer stitches and bandages for shallow cuts, not to mention apply ointment and lotion for skin rashes and sunburn. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit these walk in clinics.