The summer was off to a less than spectacular start. On the first day after school was out your two girls were up early and ready to go. At the ages of nine and 12 they were old enough to head to the park on their own. Wearing their helmets, they were on their bikes and headed to the park. The had also packed water bottles and snacks.
You were puzzled, however, when 15 minutes later you heard the garage door open. Checking out the back door you found two girls and one bike. The other bike as left at the park after the crash. While the older girl was able to ride her bike home, the younger daughter did not think that she could use her left arm to steer, so she walked.
After a visit to see the emergency room physician and an x-ray, the broken arm was wrapped and put in a sling. In two days, when the emergency room physician expected the swelling to go down, you would return for the hard cast. No swimming for six weeks.
What a start to summer.
Where Does Your Family Go When They Need After Hour Medical Attention?
A recent sign added to Interstate 149 as it makes it way through Fayetteville, Arkansas, is a digital sign that indicates what the current wait time is at one of the local healthcare clinics. While emergency rooms may be known for their long wait times, quick care clinics are often known for their speed. Located in strip malls, stand alone buildings, and other convenient locations, doctors walk in clinics offer flexible hours, reliable care, and affordable prices.
One of the major advantages to healthcare clinics is that they are open extended hours. Afternoon and early evening illnesses and injuries, for example, can prove a challenge when it comes to finding medical treatment. A healthcare clinic is often open until 8:00 or 9:00 pm, and some are open 24 hours. Convenient weekend hours also provide care options for many situations. For instance, 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week.
In addition to convenient hours, the wait times at urgent care clinics is often very short. Unlike hospitals where emergency room physicians are tied to a strict triage schedule, health care clinics often have wait times as short as 15 or 20 minutes. And while family physicians and pediatricians often require patients to schedule appointments weeks and even months in advance, al most all quick care clinics serve walk in patients.
In addition to being convenient, these clinics are also serve patients with a variety of conditions, including:
- Abdominal Pain
- Burns, Bites and Rashes
- Worker’s Comp Injuries
- Flu Shots
- Ear Cleaning
- Strep Throat
- Ear Infections
- School and Sports Physicals
- Pink Eye
- Wheezing and Asthma
- Anxiety Attacks
- Urinary Tract or Bladder Infections
Health Care Clinics Offer Affordable Prices
Without the expensive overhead prices of hospitals and emergency rooms, urgent care clinics can offer a more affordable pricing structure. In fact, instead of hidden and confusing costs that patients pay when they visit some emergency rooms, health care clinics often list the prices for their most standard procedures. Additionally, these clinics also accept insurance cards.
Statistics indicate that as many as 3 million patients visit a quick care clinic each week. This research according to the Urgent Care Association of America also indicates that nearly 20,000 physicians practice health care clinic medicine today. In a time when patients realize that they are also consumers, they often take time to consider and shop for convenience, affordability, and best care. No longer do these patients need to go to the most expensive hospital emergency rooms for what they think is the best care. Urgent care clinics are staffed by qualified doctors, physician’s assistants, and nurses who can provide the same care as emergency room physicians. With published or posted pricing structures, these health clinics are often more affordable. In fact, many of them also accept insurance cards and co-payments.
When you or someone you love is in need or emergency or routine health care, you likely have several choices: a local hospital emergency room, a family pediatrician or physician, or one of many health care clinics. Where you decide to get the health care you need should be a careful decision about the best available options. Make your health care choices carefully.
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