Why Americans Visit Urgent Care Centers

Whenever someone gets hurt or ill, they should get professional medical attention, but the question is: do they need the hospital? Only serious and life-threatening cases call for the hospital or its ER, while minor medical cases call for urgent care instead, and urgent and emergency care are not to be confused. For the most part, everyday illnesses and wounds call for urgent care rather than costly emergency care, and walk in clinics and urgent care centers can provide just that. When a patient needs this level of medical care, a nearby responsible party can look up local urgent care centers online if they don’t already know one, and review the name, address, and hours of operation of each local clinic. They can refer to each clinic’s guest ratings and reviews, too. And if the patient needs urgent care at an odd time of day, it is important to search for 24 hour urgent care clinics to find an open location for treatment.

Finding Urgent Care Locations

An online search may look like “urgent care near me miami” or “24 hour walk in clinics in san diego,” and the seeker can check the ratings and reviews of each nearby clinic so they can find the best possible care services. But where are these urgent care centers typically found? Many of them are found in strip malls, which makes them easy to locate and get parking for, and some are built into hospitals. These hospital clinics offer distinct care and staff from the hospital at large, so a guest can get urgent care services while ignoring the hospital itself. Large retailer such as Target, Walmart, and Walgreens also tend to house urgent care clinics, and these often feature pharmacies in them, too, for the convenience of shoppers.

Common Afflictions

What are some typical reasons why Americans need to visit walk in clinics? The common cold and flu rank highly, and Americans catch around one billion colds altogether per year. A cold may last around ten days or so, and a nasty cold may call for medical treatment, such as medicinal relief at an urgent care center. A flu also merits a visit to urgent care centers, as a flu may be highly unpleasant and potentially turn deadly. But that’s not the only source of sickness; around 48 million Americans get food poisoning each year, when they eat undercooked food and catch bacteria and viruses from that food. An upset stomach is a good reason to seek medical care. Meanwhile, many everyday objects may cut or pierce a person’s skin, anything from broken glass to nails to razors or knives, and the sun itself is also a hazard. Too much sun exposure can result in a bad sunburn or even melanomas. All these and more are good reasons to visit urgent care sites.

Visiting Walk In Clinics

A typical urgent care center is a small, independent medical care site that is staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can handle a wide variety of health issues. Such clinics are also known to form small, local networks, and they are quite numerous. Several thousand of them have been built since the year 2000, and this market is still growing. Also, visiting urgent care clinics tends to be much cheaper and faster than visiting the ER for minor medical issues, and besides, this saves room in the ER for patients who truly need it. Costs and wait times may vary, of course, but a walk in clinic that’s running smoothly can see three patients per hour. A guest might have a wait time as short as 15 minutes, and various walk in clinics accept may different healthcare insurance policies. All this is why urgent care is also known as “convenient care.”

Guests can not only get medicinal treatment for the cold and flu, but they can attend the flu shot drives that urgent care centers often host, to get properly vaccinated. Four in five urgent care centers can treat bone fractures, and practically all of them can also handle wrist and ankle sprains. Guests can get stitches and bandages for cuts and wounds, not to mention lotion for skin rashes and sunburn. Most of these clinics also have a pharmacy and trained pharmacists in them.