It is a fact of life that children and adult Americans will sometimes suffer injury or illness, and whenever this happens, it is critical to know what medical care options are most appropriate and nearby whenever a situation arises. Emergency care can come from clinics such as walk in clinics or retail clinics, or an emergency room physician will look after a badly injured patient in a hospital’s ER. Emergency care can sometimes be had at a private physician’s office or a pediatrician’s office. Where can one find the right medical care, and what facility is best for emergency care?
Different Emergency Care Options
An ER, a walk in clinic, or a pediatrician are all different things, all meant for different ailments and budgets. The ER in a hospital is the correct route to take for life threatening conditions, since the staff at a walk in clinic will probably not have the training or equipment to handle it. Serious conditions such as broken arms or legs, stab or bullet wounds, head injuries, serious chest pain, or difficulty breathing all call for the ER. However, going to the ER can be expensive, and if a person’s ailment does not call for visiting the hospital, they are taking up space that someone else may urgently need. If an affliction is not life threatening or involve those types if traumas, an urgent care clinic is the better option, and often faster and cheaper, too.
Clinic care cannot help someone with a life threatening injury, but instead, common and less serious ailments and illnesses can be treated as such facilities. Emergency care at a clinic will often cover such problems as broken fingers, allergies, rashes, dizziness, the flu or cold, and bone fractures and ankle sprains. Four out of five clinics, in fact, will treat bone fractures, and some reports show that around 25,000 Americans suffer ankle sprains every single day. The most common condition diagnosed at a clinic is an upper respiratory condition, and in the year 2012, wound repair was the most common procedure undertaken at clinics.
Emergency care at clinics can be fast; sometimes, a clinic may see three patients per hour, and a wait time may be only 15 minutes. The out of pocket expenses may be much lower than those at a hospital, although exacts costs will vary considerably. Medical staff include nurse practitioners and physicians at clinics, and today, over 20,000 physicians work at urgent care centers. Some of these centers, in fact, are retail clinics, meaning that they are built into existing retail centers like Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Target, making them easier to reach since such retailers place themselves in convenient locations and have ample parking. Such clinics, and others, will have a pharmacy for writing or refilling drug prescriptions. If a person has a medical emergency that does not call for a hospital visit, that person, or someone helping them, can enter “24 hour urgent care near me” into any computer or smart phone and find the name, address, and hours of operations for the nearest urgent care clinics.
A private physician, meanwhile, can only be seen by appointment as opposed to a walk in clinic, but such a doctor is intimately familiar with each of his or her patient’s medical records, history, and needs, allowing for accurate and prompt diagnoses and care, and if need be, a private physician can refer the patient to a hospital. Finally, a pediatrician specializes in child care, that is, anyone from newborns to those just under 18 years old. Such doctors are familiar with the anatomy of very young patients and the afflictions most common to them, such as ear infections. Pediatricians can even diagnose mental illness in young patients that one would expect to see in older patients, such as anxiety or depression.