When to Look for Urgent Care Centers

Whenever someone gets hurt or ill, it is important that someone nearby can find a medical care center and take the victim there right away. But where to take them? Urgent care centers and emergency care centers are quite different from each other, and are not to be confused. Fortunately, it is fairly straightforward: an urgent care center clinic is for minor medical cases, and an emergency room is necessary for major injuries or life-threatening conditions. A person can use the internet to find local urgent care clinics if they have to, such as “urgent care in Los Ranchos NM” and find a list of clinics. Not all of these urgent care locations are open 24 hours a day, but some are, and a person can find them with a search such as “urgent care in Los Ranchos 24 hrs” or “24 hr emergency care clinic near me.” Doing this will show the name and address of all local care clinics within the local ZIP code.

Getting Urgent Care

As described above, a person will look up “urgent care in Los Ranchos” (for example) if a victim needs medical attention for non life-threatening issues. In fact, in some cases, a person might be in shape to search for “urgent care in Los Ranchos” or the like and transport themselves to the clinics. This is a large industry, and over 2,500 urgent care clinics can be found across the United States today. They tend to small and independent clinics run by nurse practitioners and physicians who have the training and medicine necessary to treat minor issues among patients. Where to find them? Many such clinics are found built into strip malls for easy access, and some urgent care clinics are built into retailers (they are known as retail clinics). Some urgent care centers are built into hospitals, and they provide distinct care and staff from the hospital itself. Visiting these clinics is much faster and cheaper then visiting the ER, and this is why urgent care is also known as “convenient care.”

A patient may visit an urgent care center or a retail clinic to access the pharmacy inside, where pharmacists can provide prescription drug refills quickly. And during influenza season, guests at these clinics can get medicinal relief from the common cold and flu. Meanwhile, the staff at these walk in clinics can provide treatment for ankle and wrist sprains, and four in five urgent care sites can also provide treatment for a bone fracture. In other a cases, a patient will visit for a skin rash or sunburn, and the staff can provide lotion and ointment. For shallow cuts, the nurses on staff will offer stitches and bandages. Upper respiratory issues are another common reason to visit these urgent care centers.

Emergency Care

Walk in clinics provide relief from minor medical issues, but a major or even life threatening medical case calls for full-blown emergency care. Often, such care is found at a hospital’s ER, or an emergency clinic. These emergency services should not be used for minor medical cases, though, especially since it is unnecessarily expensive and time consuming for the patient. If it is not clear what level of care a victim may need, then a person can look up hybrid care clinics, which offer emergency and urgent care side by side, making them quite flexible. Such hybrid clinics might also show up on searches for either urgent care or emergency care centers.

As for emergency care, a patient will certainly need this if they have a broken arm or leg, or if they have suffered a head wound or a wounded eyeball. Stab wounds and bullet wounds also merit a visit to the ER, and those wounds are probably bleeding heavily. Chest pain and difficulty breathing also call for emergency aid, and these conditions may turn life threatening at any moment, if they are not already. A patient who just had a stroke or heart attack will need emergency aid, too. And what about abdominal pain? Most abdominal pain cases are harmless, but if that pain is sudden, severe, and/or long lasting, then emergency care is strongly recommended. The underlying cause might be serious, such as internal bleeding or even cancer, in some cases.

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