When to Go to Urgent Care

Everyone gets ill or wounded sometimes, and when an adult is hurt, they should be taken to an urgent care clinic by a responsible adult nearby. An American may have a number of such urgent care clinics in their area, and they can be found with a quick and simple Internet search for convenience. On a mobile device or a PC, a person may search for medical care clinics in their area with queries such as “urgent care clinics near me Dallas TX” or “urgent care clinics open in Boston MA.” This may show a whole list of urgent care and walk in medical clinics in their area, complete with each clinic’s hours of operation, address, and more. Why might someone need to visit an urgent care clinic, and what sort of medical services might they expect there?

The Clinics

These are not hospitals, but rather medical care facilities that can take care of everyday, non life-threatening wounds and illnesses that Americans typically suffer from. There are several thousand such clinics found across the United States today, and many of them are either independent facilities or grouped into small networks with one another. Nearly any city, town, or other community in the United States will probably have at least one such clinic, and some of these clinics are open 24 hours a day. Those that aren’t should still have a fairly broad range of hours of operation for patients’ convenience.

Some of these urgent care clinics might be built into a strip mall, with a sign over their door advertising them. In other cases, such clinics may be built into larger facilities such as hospitals or even retailers. In the former case, a hospital urgent care clinic operates independently of the hospital in which it’s found, and the medical services and staff of each party are kept separate. In fact, a patient may visit only a hospital’s urgent care center and completely ignore the hospital around it.

Other urgent care centers are what are called retail clinics, meaning that they are found in large retailer such as Target, Walmart, and Walgreens. Such clinics often have a pharmacy in them where shoppers can get their drug prescriptions refilled, and a shopper may appreciate the convenience of stopping by such a clinic during their shopping. These clinics may be easy to find since the retailer itself is easy to find and has ample parking, though the clinic’s exact hours may vary.

An urgent care center will have a staff of nurse practitioners and physicians who can take care of a wide variety of everyday maladies, and they will have the training and tools to treat patients. If such a clinic is running smoothly, the clinic may see about three patients per hour, and a guest may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes when they visit. Many such clinics also accept various healthcare insurance policies, but a guest may still want to check ahead of time to see if their particular policy is accepted there.

Illnesses and Wounds

Why might someone visit an urgent care clinic? Wounds such as bone fractures may bring someone to such a clinic, and about 80% of these clinics can take of bone fractures. Most, if not all, of them can also take care of ankle or wrist sprains, other common issues. Nearly 25,000 Americans suffer from ankle sprains every day, often while running or playing sports, so they can visit a clinic. Shallow cuts may also bring a patient to a clinic, such as if they stepped on broken glass or if they mishandled a knife. Staff at a clinic may offer stitches and bandages for those wounds.

Patients with the common cold or flu can visit an urgent care center and get medicinal relief from those viruses, and patients may also visit if they have an upper respiratory problem or if they are suffering from allergies. Lotion and ointment may be provided if the patient has a bad rash, such as from contact with poison ivy. Most of these retailers, even if they are not in Walgreens, may have a pharmacy built into them where patients may present their drug prescription forms and get a refill courtesy of the pharmacists on staff.

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