Going to Urgent Care


It is a simple fact of life that sometimes, American adults or children may get ill or suffer minor wounds or injuries in their everyday lives, and the most important thing to do is to remain calm, asses the situation, and know how to find urgent care in one’s area to get any needed treatment there. Often, finding urgent care means searching online at a PC or smart phone with a query such as “walk in clinics near me” or “health care service Boston MA” to find a location that is open and convenient to visit. Not all urgent care centers are in fact open 24 hours a day or 7 days a week, but many are, and they all have broad hours of operation. A person can find out an urgent care facility’s address and hours of operation while performing the Internet search, and a victim or a nearby person can escort them to that clinic for treatment. How common are these clinics, and what can be expected from friendly medical care?

The Clinics

Urgent care takes the form of many thousands of urgent clinics found all across the United States today, and many of them are independent or are in a small network with other walk in clinics. Urgent care clinics are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who will have the training and the tools and medicine to take care of a wide variety of non life-threatening ailments, and these clinics will also often have a pharmacy in them, meaning that they can refill drug prescriptions for visiting patients. Often, these urgent care centers are more cost friendly and more expedient than other forms of health care. A patient may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes or so, and if a clinic is running smoothly, the staff there may see about three patients per hour on average. In fact, some of these clinics are not standalone medical care facilities, but instead they are what are known as retail clinics. These particular urgent care clinics may be found in major retailers such as Target, Walgreens, or Wal-Mart, and they can be easy to visit since the retailers that house them are designed to be convenient to find and get parking for, and are often found in busy urban centers. Often, these retail clinics will house a pharmacy like other types of walk in clinics, and the pharmacists there can create or refill drug prescriptions for patients who visit. Urgent care clinics may accept many different insurance policies, and this can make them even more cost friendly to visit and get treatment from. A patient may call a clinic ahead of time and see what insurance they will accept, and make a decision based on that.

What Brings Patients to Urgent Care

What sort of non life-threatening health problems may bring patients to an urgent care center? Common illnesses such as the cold and flu may bring a person to urgent care if the symptoms are serious and the patient needs medicine to help deal with a bad cold or flu. And given how there is a regular flu season and Americans collectively catch one billion cold each year, there is plenty of need for this. Medicine for food poisoning or other mild illnesses may be found here, as well. What is more, minor injuries due to trauma can typically be treated at an urgent care center with the aid of the staff of nurse practitioners and physicians. Four out of five such clinics can help with bone fractures, and most can also deal with broken fingers or sprains. It is estimated that 25,000 Americans each day get an ankle sprain, so ankle and wrist sprains are a common issue that clinics deal with. It has also been found that upper respiratory issues are very common, and in fact were the most prevalent health issue dealt with at such clinics in 2012. Skin conditions such as rashes or allergies may also be taken care of at these clinics, not to mention the rashes or irritation of poison ivy or other hazardous plants or wildlife. Lotions, ointments, and other medicine may be administered at these clinics for all sorts of skin issues or allergies in patients.

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