It’s Sunday morning, and your infant has been crying for hours. It could be cramps or an earache. Your pediatrician’s office is closed. Before you head to the emergency room, you should know that walk-in clinics are available to handle many family practice health issues.
Walk-in clinics treat minor emergencies that are not life-threatening. On-staff certified physicians provide qualified care to patients who come in. These walk-in clinics exist for convenience, when you can’t wait to see your doctor, and don’t feel the extended wait times at an emergency room’s triage center are worth the trip. If possible, you should assess the seriousness of your condition before visiting a walk-in clinic. You can often call to speak to a nurse on-duty about symptoms or consult medical websites. More information about what kinds of services are available at a particular walk-in clinic is usually available on their website.
Walk-in clinics can handle some first aid and non-trauma conditions, and the board-certified medical personnel there will let you know if they cannot treat your condition. You will otherwise be treated quickly and the same day without the need for an appointment.
Walk-In Clinics also accept most insurance plans. Insurance companies will often charge far less for a clinic visit than for an emergency room visit. If your insurance plan is not accepted, or you do not have a valid insurance plan, ask about available options for treatment.
There are a variety of conditions that can be handled by walk-in facilities including:
• Cuts and/or bruises
• Sore throats
• Sinus conditions
• The flu or colds
• Minor sprains or fractures
• Diarrhea or vomiting
In addition to treating these ailments, many walk-in clinics can also administer immunizations and conduct physical exams, screenings and lab tests.
Finding Your Walk-In Clinic
There has been an increase in walk-in clinic facilities recently. This increase has been generally funded by private investors, which often means the clinic is not affiliated to a local hospital. This can have good and bad results. One good result is you rarely have to wait too long. Another is that walk-in clinics are no longer mostly found in large metropolitan areas. With the rise of walk-in clinics, there is likely to be one near you. A quick search on the Internet or a call to your local information service will provide an ample number of options.
Cut the Red Tape and Feel Better Fast
It’s good to have options. Your doctor may give you more personalized care, and the emergency room may possess the best equipment and staff for emergencies, but when the other inconvenient situations occur that can’t wait for your regular doctor or don’t require an emergency room visit, there’s the option of walk-in clinics. Many clinics even offer online registration to facilitate the treatment process. It’s about getting better when you need it, without the paperwork, and fast.