Americans young and old will sometimes suffer minor injuries, wounds, or illnesses in their everyday lives, and when a non life-threatening medical issue comes up, it is important for either the victim or someone nearby to know where to find on-demand care and get the patient to that clinic for convenient medical care. Everyday wounds and illnesses do not call for the hospital or the ER, so instead, 24 hour urgent care or on-demand care at a local urgent clinic or a walk-in clinic can be found instead. The good news is that these clinics are highly numerous across the United States today, and they can be found in nearly every town or city. Some of them are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and even those that are not may still have broad hours of operation so that they can see many patients every week. Finding one can be as simple as searching on a smart phone or a PC with queries such as “24 hour on-demand care near me” or “urgent care clinic Burlington Vermont” to find a nearby clinic that is open and take the victim there. What can be treated at such a clinic, and what alternatives are there? Can an online doctor or a virtual doctor be useful, too?
American Urgent Care
It is important to note that urgent and emergency medical care are not the same. Emergency care is done at the ER of a hospital, and is for life-threatening illness or injury, while urgent care is for more everyday afflictions that do not immediately threaten the patient’s life. The good news is that while such everyday maladies are common, there are many thousands of urgent care clinics and on-demand clinics found across the United States, and most are just an Internet search away and may be open for most or all hours of the day. These clinics are usually independent facilities or may be a part of a small network of them, and they are staffed by nurse practitioners and physicians who will have the medical training, medicine, and tools to help care for patients who visit them. In fact, nearly 40% of all general physicians work evening and weekend hours to help their patients, and a 24 hour clinic’s staff will, naturally, be ready at any time to receive patients, day or night. A wait time of about 15 minutes for each patient is typical if the clinic is running smoothly, and the clinic will probably be able to see about three patients per hour.
What kinds of services are offered at on-demand care clinics? Many illnesses and wounds can be treated here, and such clinics often accept various health insurance policies as well, making them price-friendly. The common cold and flu, for example, can be treated with on-demand care, and the clinic may offer medicine for the symptoms of such illness. Allergies and skin conditions such as rashes can be treated with ointment, lotions, and medicine, and upper respiratory issues are also a common reason to visit on-demand care clinics. Sprained ankles and wrists are also common wounds that call for a convenient care clinic visit, and about 25,000 Americans suffer ankle sprains every day. Broken fingers or toes might be treated at these clinics, and four out of five on-demand care clinics will take care of bone fractures as well. Many clinics will also have a pharmacy and can refill drug prescriptions. The same is true at retail clinics, which are clinics found inside major retailers such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Target. These clinics may be easy to find and get parking spots for, since these large retailers want to be convenient for large numbers of shoppers to visit. These retail clinics may also have pharmacies staffed with pharmacists, and the clinic will probably have similar hours of operation as the retailer where it is found.
On-demand care can be found with an online doctor, who can be found and consulted at a patient’s convenience to get recommendations about health care for a wound or condition that they have. In short, virtual consultation. A search such as “Seattle online doctor” can yield results for a patient to peruse and get consultation.