It is a common occurrence for someone to have a condition that necessitates medical attention but not enough to warrant taking a trip to a hospital emergency room. As a result, walk-in clinics have become extremely popular over the past decade as it gives people who need medical attention the opportunity to receive it without flooding the emergency room and taking away the attention of doctors who could be assisting people with more serious injuries and illnesses.
While you will receive the medical attention you need by going to an emergency room, there are some conditions that you can visit a walk-in clinic for and you will get quicker and efficient medical treatment by doing so. Below are 3 of the most common conditions that you can get treatment for at a walk-in clinic.
1. Sports injuries
While a sports injury such as a broken bone, sprain, or ACL tear is serious and may require an x-ray or MRI, it may not be seen as serious by an emergency room in comparison to other people’s conditions. As a result, you may have to sit and wait for an extended period before being seen by a doctor. When you visit an emergency room for a sports injury, you will need a doctor to refer you to one or more diagnostic tests and depending on the severity of your injury this may not be done right away. While you may have to wait at a walk-in clinic as well, it will not be nearly as long as at an emergency room.
Walk-in clinics often have diagnostic equipment at their disposals, allowing you to get the tests you need done and you can then be treated for your condition, whether it be a cast, crutches, or a referral to a surgeon. Doctors at walk-in clinics also have the ability to prescribe medications that will allow you to deal with the pain of the injury.
While minor, first-degree burns can be treated with over-the counter topical ointments and cold compressions, more severe burns are serious and painful. Similar to a sports injury, they are not life-threatening and will not be treated as such by emergency room staff. Severe burns can cause permanent tissue damage that could potentially impact your dexterity or mobility if they occur on your hands or feet and can become infected on other parts of the body.
A walk-in clinic can provide immediate relief to severe burns and minimize the risks of tissue damage by using cooling methods, sterilizing them, and wrapping them to prevent infection. It should be stressed that second-degree burns can be treated at a walk-in clinic, but ones that cover a majority of the body or any third-degree burns are seen as life-threatening and patients with these injuries should be treated immediately at a hospital.
Lacerations can be tricky because sometimes you do not know the treatment that you need. If you do not need stitches, you may still wait at an emergency room for hours to be sent home with a bandage, amounting to a major waste of time. Depending on the severity of your injury, a doctor at a walk-in clinic can disinfect your laceration and wrap it to prevent infection or stitch you up in no time at all.