Americans young and old will sometimes suffer from everyday wounds or illnesses, and when a person suffers a non life-threatening condition, they may visit any of the urgent care locations in their area. These walk in clinics can be found across the United States in most urban and some rural areas, and they can treat a wide variety of ailments in their patients. When someone suffers a wound or condition, a nearby responsible adult may look up local urgent care locations with a PC or mobile device, and a search query such as “medical care clinic near me Boston MA” or “urgent care locations San Francisco CA” may show some local results. The seeker may even include their ZIP code to further refine this search. These urgent care locations and their staff don’t treat life-threatening problems like a hospital’s ER will, but non life-threatening problems are generally more common and don’t even warrant a visit to the ER. Instead, visiting local urgent care locations is a more practical idea, and a patient may take advantage of how smoothly and conveniently they operate. Where might someone find these urgent care locations, and what can they expect there?
About Urgent Care Centers
For decades now, these urgent care locations have been in operation across the United States, and their staffs can treat a variety of ailments. Most cities and towns tend to have at least several such urgent care locations, and some rural communities have them too. In fact, new urgent care locations are being built in needy rural communities every year, allowing more Americans than ever to get access to these much-needed care facilities. These urgent care facilities tend to be small and independent in operation, although sometimes they may form small, local networks with one another. Some of these clinics can be found in strip malls across North America, while others are built into larger facilities such as hospitals or retailers.
These urgent care locations found in hospitals operate as distinct entities, and their staff and medical services are in fact kept separate from those of the hospital at large. This may be convenient for patients whose medical needs don’t warrant an ER visit, so they can instead visit the clinic inside a hospital for their treatment and ignore the hospital itself. After all, going to the ER tends to cost a lot more than an urgent care center and involves more wait time, and the ER should be reserved for those with life-threatening ailments in any case.
Meanwhile, urgent care locations found in retailers are known as retail clinics, and they may be found in such brand retailers as Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, among others. These clinics tend to have pharmacies as well, and shoppers may appreciate the convenience of visiting these pharmacies and getting prescription drug refills during their shopping trips. These clinics may have similar or different hours than the parent retailer.
Wherever they are found, urgent care centers are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who have the training, medicinal supplies, and tool to treat a wide variety of ailments among their patients, and these clinics may be open 24 hours a day or seven days a week to provide that care. Those that aren’t may still have a wide range of hours of operation for their patients. If a clinic is running smoothly, a patient there may expect a wait time of around 15 minutes, and the clinic may see about three patients each hour. The patients may also check ahead of time if their healthcare insurance policies are accepted there.
Many patients visit these urgent care centers to have ankle or wrist sprains looked after, since these are fairly common injuries. Many patients are also coming in with bone fractures, and close to 80% of these clinics can treat them. Upper respiratory infections are another common reason to visit, and patients may get medicinal relief against the common cold or flu. Patients at these clinics may also get stitches and bandages for shallow cuts (such as if they stepped on or touched broken glass), and these clinics may offer ointments and lotions for bad skin rashes. Poison ivy is a common reason patients need rash relief at these clinics.