Americans young and old will sometimes suffer from injury or illness that requires a visit to either 24 hour emergency care, convenient care, or something in between, and visiting urgent care and clinics can provide someone with relief from illness or injury with professional medical help. A person who needs urgent care and clinics can perform an online search to find nearby sites such as 24 hour urgent care locations or an emergency room, or a nearby, responsible adult can perform this search on a smart phone or a PC if need be. With an online search, urgent care and clinics can be found, along with their names, addresses, and hours of operations. Not all urgent care and clinics sites are open 24 hours a day, but many are, and those that aren’t may have broad hours of operation all the same. Many people are visiting these sites; 27% of American patients reported that in 2016, they had visited an urgent care center within the previous two years. How might Americans get the help that they need from urgent care and clinics?
The Emergency Room
Urgent Care Today
If emergency care is for life-threatening health issues and trauma, what is urgent care for? Most other health issues, in fact. Across the United States, many thousands of urgent care sites can be found, some open 24 hours a day. These clinic are independent or belong to small networks with other clinics, and they are staffed by nurse practitioners and physicians who can take care of non life-threatening issues among their patients. A patient to such a clinic may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes, on average, and if a clinic is running smoothly, the staff there can tend to about three patients per hour. Many such clinic also accept health insurance, and they usually have a pharmacy where drug prescriptions can be refilled. In fact, some urgent care centers are retail clinics, meaning that they are built into larger retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, or Walgreens, and usually have a pharmacy. Their hours of operation may be similar to that of the retailer where they are found.
Many everyday ailments can be treated at these clinics. Medicine can be provided at a clinic for relief from the cold or flu, for example, or food poisoning or allergies. Four out of five urgent care clinics can tend to bone fractures, and they often can take care of sprained ankles or wrists as well, which are common issues among Americans, such as athletes. An urgent care center can also handle cuts that are not too deep, and the staff can provide stitches and bandages for these cuts, such as if a patient stepped on broken glass or mishandled a knife. Urgent care clinics may also take care of upper respiratory issues, which are common, and some clinics can also take care of kids and their particular health issues, such as ear infections, which are common among children.