There are times when a doctor is needed, but the ailment doesn’t call for an emergency room. If the injury or illness is not life-threatening, seek out an urgent care or walk-in facility. A clinic is perfect for these sorts of events. They have experienced and knowledgeable physicians and staff who can quickly administer aid and treat minor illnesses and injuries with wait times typically less than that of the ER.
Convenient and affordable, walk-in clinics offer treatment for minor illnesses, allergies, asthma, immunology, minor injuries, and other ailments. Many locations also provide complete care for the whole family with specialization in pediatrics. Depending on the facility, they may attend to children six months old. Services include aid for sore throats, ear infections, foreign body removal, and sports injuries.
The mission of most walk-in clinics is to give quality care that is convenient. A bonus of using one of these facilities is patients do not have to endure the hours of waiting at the emergency room. The wait time is often brief, and the lines are not long. If their primary care doctor is booked or on vacation, they do not have to worry-a skilled physician can see patients without an appointment. A walk-in clinic has flexible hours, allowing those with busy schedules and families to get immediate attention on a lunch break or even after dinner. These facilities are there to accommodate people in some of the most inconvenient circumstances-when accidents typically happen.
Not only are many of them open late but they are also available during the weekends. Some are equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and X-ray facilities. This convenience factor means the doctor does not have to send patients or samples off to a private lab, resulting in lengthy delays for results. In this case, the physician can perform the tests on-site and have the results ready in a matter of minutes. Patients can quickly go home with both a diagnosis and treatment.
Another benefit of using a walk-in clinic is that they are affordable alternatives for less critical injuries. Patients usually find that these facilities are much less expensive than the emergency room as they ordinarily offer lower fees and copays for their services. Not only are they not as costly, but they also accept most insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid. Additionally, many provide coupons and other savings and promotions for preventative care treatments like flu shots and medicine for allergies. These specials also include discounts on physicals, occupational health exams, and travel medications and shots. For those without insurance who are paying out of pocket, a walk-in clinic may provide a lower rate on certain services.
However, these clinics are not for every situation. If the trauma requires major medical attention or if the condition is chronic or severe, visiting an emergency room is crucial. For chronic illnesses, patients should see their primary doctor.