If you get sick or injured in a significant way, you might think a local emergency room to be your only real option. However, this is not without its issues, as emergency rooms themselves can all too often be over crowded and understaffed. This is the case all throughout the country, with many emergency rooms providing less than ideal care out of the situations they have been placed in.
There are other issues with getting care in an emergency room as well. For one thing, the wait times in the typical emergency room can be immense. On average, they are likely to last at least one full hour, if not even longer than that. In addition to this, going to an emergency room is hardly likely to be inexpensive. In fact, the opposite is all too often true. In today’s world, it is not uncommon for a single emergency room visit to cost more than $1,000 – if not even drastically more, depending on the nature of the visit itself.
Of course, there are certainly times when going to the emergency room is an absolute must. For one thing, you should always go to the emergency room if you have been injured in a very serious way. Serious accidents like car accidents should also result in an emergency room trip, if only to be on the safe side. In addition to this, emergency room visits should also occur if you suspect that you are experiencing a medical event such as a stroke or heart attack.
But for other medical concerns that still need medical help, consider a local emergency medical clinic. Local emergency medical clinics and urgent care centers have become more prevalent than ever before, with more than 7,000 of them found throughout the country as of the year of 2016 (a number that has most certainly only continued to grow in the years that have transpired since). In addition to this, up to three million people visit these urgent care locations on a week to week basis, something that has required them to be staffed by up to 20,000 doctors (a number that is certainly also continuing to grow).
Why is this the case? Simply put, local emergency medical clinics can provide a wide range of medical services – in much less time and for much less money than just about any local emergency room out there. For instance, common illnesses can be handled in most local emergency medical clinics. Respiratory infections are the most common ones seen, at least according to data gathered in 2012 (data that also showed wound repair to be the most common procedure being performed). Other illnesses, such as the flu, are commonly diagnosed in an urgent care clinic. Though there is no cure for the flu, local emergency medical clinics can provide an anti-viral treatment that can lessen the overall severity of a flu considerably – something that can benefit just about everyone who has contracted the illness, a number so larger as to make up around 20% of the population in some years.
Of course, local emergency medical clinics are also able to treat various injuries, ranging from sports injuries to the injuries that are accrued over the course of day to day life. Such injuries, for instance, might include the typical ankle sprain, which occurs more than 20,000 times throughout the course of just one day. And ankle sprains are common because they so easily happen, more than three quarters of them resulting from a simple inversion, an inward rolling, of the ankle in question. Even in cases of fracture, urgent care centers and local emergency medical clinics can help, with more than 75% allowing for the diagnosis and treatment of minor fractures, if not more major ones.
All things considered, the role of local emergency medical clinics is quite hugely important indeed. For many people, local emergency medical clinics provide a viable alternative to emergency room care, though it is certainly important to still go to an emergency room when a life threatening medical event is taking place. For most instances, however, this high level of medical care will not be strictly necessary and emergency medical clinics will suffice.