Sometimes, a child or adult may suffer an illness or an injury or wound that calls for professional medical attention. A nearby responsible adult may take that victim to local walk in urgent care clinics, or even rush them to the hospital or an emergency clinic in dire situations. If need be, a person can look up local urgent care centers, pediatric urgent care clinics, and more with an Internet search on a PC or a smartphone. Doing this will show the name, address, and hours of operation of local clinics of all sorts, and the victim may be taken there. It may be important to note that urgent care and emergency care are in fact two different things, and not to be confused. This helps a person look up the correct type of care clinic for a victim, though some hybrid clinics may offer every type of care, just in case. This can be helpful it it’s not clear what level of care the patient might need.
What Emergency Care Can Do
The emergency room in a hospital, or an emergency care clinic, may offer the highest level of care for patients whose lives are in danger. This is not a place for ordinary bumps and scrapes; the doctors and physicians at emergency care sites can get a patient out of critical condition and stabilize them for recovery. For example, someone being rushed to emergency care may have suffered broken arms or legs, or a head or eyeball injury. Many emergency care patients have recently suffered a heart attack or a stroke, which can certainly be fatal unless treated with emergency care. Bullet or stab wounds or similar trauma may cause heavy bleeding and organ damage until the victim gets to emergency care, and serious chest pain and/or difficulty breathing will also merit a trip to the ER. And what about abdominal pain? Most abdominal pain cases are mild and don’t require an ER visit, but if the pain is sudden, extreme, and/or long lasting, it is time for emergency care, just to be sure.
A hospital’s ER should not be treated as a catch-all medical site, though. Urgent care clinics and walk in clinics can handle most non life-threatening cases, and going to those clinics is usually much cheaper and faster than going to emergency care anyway. Urgent care is often known as “convenient care” for this very reason.
Getting Urgent Care Done
If a victim has suffered mild wounds or a condition, or mild illness, that person may be taken to (or even take themselves to) a local urgent care clinic for treatment. There are many to choose from; a few thousand of these clinics can be found all across the United States, most of them being small and independent clinics run by nurse practitioners and physicians. Many of these clinics are found in strip malls for easy parking and access, though some in fact can be found in retailers (these are retail clinics), or even found in hospitals. Retail clinics in particular will probably have a pharmacy in them, for the convenience of shoppers who need to pick up a prescription drug refill during their visit.
The staff at an urgent care center can treat a patient’s ankle or wrist sprains, for example, with braces and ice packs. Around 80% of these clinics can also treat bone fractures as well, and the nurses there can also provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts. Lotion and ointment can be provided for skin rashes or sunburn, and patients may get medicinal relief from the common cold or flu during influenza season. Upper respiratory problems are also a common reason to visit these urgent care centers.
Meanwhile, children may be taken to a pediatric urgent care center for non life-threatening cases. The staff a regular walk in clinic expect adult patients, but a pediatric clinic will have pediatricians on hand who specialize in children’s medicine. Pediatricians are experts on a child’s or baby’s anatomy and particular health needs, and they are familiar with common illnesses or conditions that affect young patients, such as ear infections. Children are also known to suffer frequent colds.