Everyone gets everyday wounds or illnesses from time to time, and when this happens, a responsible adult will look up local walk in clinics or urgent care clinics for a patient. A person may find such medical treatment through a quick online search with a handheld device or a PC, and searches may be done for a local urgent care center at any time of day. Someone may search “friendly medical care near me San Diego CA” or “24 hour urgent care Boston MA” to find something local. With this search, the seeker may find the names, addresses, and hours of operation for any local urgent care center and get directions to visit it. What might someone expect from these urgent care centers, and what else might they offer for patients who visit?

On Urgent Care Centers

These are not to be confused with hospitals or emergency rooms (ER). Rather, these are medical clinics for non life-threatening wounds or illnesses, and such centers can be found across the United States in nearly any town or city. Thousands are in operation today, and they may be either independent or part of a small, local network with one another. In fact, while some might be free-standing buildings, most are built into strip malls, retailers, or hospitals. If an urgent care clinic is built into a retailer such as Target or Walgreens, it is known as a retail clinic, and such clinics are convenient for shoppers to visit and get prescription drug refills at their pharmacies. These retailers have ample parking space and are easy to find, and this makes them convenient for shoppers and pharmacy guests alike. The clinic inside these retailers may have similar hours of operation as the store themselves, or different ones. This can be checked online or by calling the store to be sure. Meanwhile, some clinics are built into hospitals, but it should be noted that they act independently. The urgent care clinic’s staff and medical services are strictly distinct from those of the hospital at large, and a guest at the clinic may get the care they need and ignore the hospital itself.

Urgent care clinics are typically staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can handle a wide variety of minor health issues, and they will have the training and medical supplies necessary for all this. And if such a clinic is running smoothly, it may see about three patients per hour, and a guest there may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes or so. What is more, a patient there can (and probably should) check if their healthcare insurance policy is accepted there. When someone visits such a clinic, may it be a retail clinic or a 24-hour care center, what sorts of medical maladies may be treated?

Illnesses and Wounds at the Clinic

The staff at an urgent care clinic will not have detailed access to a patient’s extensive medical history like their private physician would, but the staff may diagnose and treat a wide variety of mild wounds or ailments all the same. For example, about four in five such clinics may treat bone fractures in patients, and most of these clinics can also treat ankle or wrist sprains. This could be a fairly typical reason to visit the clinic, seeing how nearly 25,000 Americans suffer from ankle sprains per day, such as while playing sports. A patient may visit the clinic for broken fingers or toes, and they may also get stitches and bandages for cuts. Someone who stepped on broken glass at the beach or mishandled a knife, for example, may visit such clinics. Some beaches, such as those in California, may have clinics nearby who often treat wounds sustained at the beach such as stepping on glass or needles or getting sunburned.

A patient may also visit the urgent care clinic near them if they have a minor illness. For example, patients may get relief from the common cold or flu with medicine offered at the clinic, and allergies and the stomach flu may also be taken care of. Many patients go in for ointment or lotions for rashes, and they may also visit because of upper respiratory issues as well.