It is a fact of life that sometimes, kids and adults alike will become ill, suffer injuries, or have ongoing medical conditions or allergies, and it is central to one’s health to not only have a private doctor, but to also know where to find medical care at a moment’s notice, such as a free clinic, the hospital’s ER, a retail clinic, or urgent care nearby. Often, searching for “urgent care near me” is enough to find a nearby free clinic or a general urgent care clinic, but one should also know what maladies mandate what type of medical care, both to save money and recover from harm. What is the difference between urgent and emergency care? What does a pediatrician do? These are important questions to answer.
Types of Care
The most serious and life-threatening injuries and illnesses call for a visit to a hospital’s ER, or emergency care. This is important if a person has suffered serious injuries such as broken arms or legs, bullet or stab wounds, head or eye wounds, or worse. In addition, extreme chest pain or difficulty breathing can also threaten to become a critical condition, so emergency care at the hospital is required for this. Sometimes, however, patients with milder problems still go to the ER anyway, and this is inefficient because it costs a lot more than going to a regular urgent care clinic, and it takes up room that patients with serious need could have. For this reason, patients are urged to know the difference between emergency and urgent care.
Urgent care, by contrast, can be found at a wider variety of facilities that have professional nurse practitioners and physicians on hand to take care of a wide variety of ailments, whether at a free clinic, a walk in clinic, or even a retail clinic. There are many thousands of such clinics across the United States in towns and cities, and finding one is often just an Internet search away on a computer or smart phone for the address, hours, and directions to a nearby clinic, and such places are sometimes open seven days a week.
There are many perks to visiting such urgent care centers. For one thing, they are relatively fast and efficient; three million Americans visit these clinics across the country every week, and even with these huge numbers, a patient may expect a wait time of just 15 minutes or so, and a clinic may see, on average, three patients per hour. The costs are also much lower than if a patient had visited the ER for their condition, and often, the ER’s services are not even needed for these medical issues.
What do fee clinic and urgent care centers take care of? Ankle and wrist sprains are common reasons to visit one, and every day, American suffer 25,000 ankle sprains, such as when playing sports or walking on ice or other difficult conditions. The common cold and flu, and their symptoms, may also be treated at a free clinic, and the average cold takes about 10 days to end, but patients can take action before that. In addition, food allergies can also be handled at the urgent clinic, such as fish or peanut allergies, and rashes and skin irritation may also be taken care of there. At a free clinic or a walk in clinic, a patient may also have his or her drug prescriptions refilled at their convenience, or have a prescription written for them.
Sometimes, urgent care is in fact a retail clinic, which is simply an urgent clinic that is built into a major retailer such as Walgreens, Target, or Wal-Mart, and these clinics can be easy to find and get parking for, since such retailer are large and place themselves at busy urban centers, and they will have ample parking for all their guests. Filling drug prescriptions may be common here.
Specialized medicine may come from a private physician, who will know his/her patient’s medical records and needs, and from pediatricians. The latter is a specialized doctor who takes care of patients under age 18, all the way down to infants, and knows their anatomy and particular medical needs such as common ear infections. Pediatricians can even diagnose mental disorders in children such as anxiety or even depression.