What to Expect From Urgent Care

The modern medical industry in the United States is large and diverse, and there is more to it than a hospital’s emergency room (though that certainly counts, too). Today, if a person needs medical attention, they are likely to visit urgent care centers in the area, or walk in clinics, for help. Some patients may be able to take themselves to an urgent care center, and in other cases, a responsible and trusted adult may take them there. When looking for urgent care nearby, the person can look up something online such as “urgent care near me” if they do not already know a location to visit. Doing this can bring up a whole list of results, showing the name, address, and hours of each walk in clinic nearby. If the patient needs help at an odd time of day, they may be taken to a 24 hours urgent care site.

These urgent care clinics are meant for adults. What about medical cases for a child? This is when the adult may look up “pediatrician near me” or “pediatrician near me 24 hours” or even “pediatric urgent care nearby” to find help.

Pediatricians and Health

Anyone under the age of 18 may be treated at a pediatric urgent care clinic or other clinics, and this is when a parent may look up “pediatrician near me.” A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in children’s medicine, and such a doctor will understand the anatomy and unique health needs of a child or a baby. When a family moves to a new area, for example, they are bound to look up all local healthcare providers relevant to them, which may include looking up “pediatrician near me.” This may show them pediatric urgent care clinics as well as private doctors and physicians to visit.

A pediatrician can perform regular checkups on a baby or a child, and if a youngster gets hurt or ill, the parents may take them to a pediatric urgent care clinic nearby. A pediatrician can quickly diagnose a problem in a child, and they may look for a fractured bone, an ear infection, a cold, or more. Children get infections fairly often, and surveys from 2014 show that 8.4% of American children suffer from hay fever while 10% have respiratory allergies and 5.4% have food allergies. Another 11.6% have skin allergies, and a pediatrician may prescribe medicine for this and advise parents on its usage.

Adult Urgent Care

Meanwhile, adult patients who need urgent care may look up these clinics and take themselves there, or ask a trusted person to transport them. It should be noted that “urgent” and “emergency” care are not the same, as the ER is intended for patients in dire condition and with serious injuries or issues. Urgent care, by contrast, concerns itself with minor medical cases that are not life threatening. Besides, visiting the ER is expensive and time consuming in most cases, while urgent care centers tend to be much faster and cheaper to visit (hence the term “urgent care”).

This is a large industry, and ever since the year 2000, over 2,500 urgent care clinics and walk in clinics have been built across the United States for convenient care. Most of these clinics tend to be small and independent, and they are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can handle minor medical cases among patients. If a clinic is running smoothly, it may see three patients per hour, and a patient can expect a wait time of around 15 minutes. These clinics are often found in strip malls, though some are built into retailers for the convenience of shoppers, and some are built into hospitals (offering distinct care from the hospital itself).

A guest at an urgent care center can visit the pharmacy located inside to get a prescription drug refill at their convenience, and guests here can also get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu during influenza season. Four in five of these clinics provide care for bone fractures, and nearly all of them can treat wrist and ankle sprains, too. The nurses on staff can provide stitches and bandages for shallow cuts and wounds, not to mention lotion and ointment for skin rashes and sunburn.