Urgent Care falls under walk in clinics. They treat minor injuries that usually don’t require a hospital visit or an emergency room visit. These type of injuries are considered serious but are not life threatening diseases or injuries. Injuries or diseases that fall under the urgent care kind of treatment include allergies, colds, sprains, minor burns, flu, minor fractures and sore throats as well. These types of diseases or injuries can be treated without having to go to a hospital or visiting the ER. However, if, upon examination, the illness or injury is found to be lethal or deadly, the patient is immediately transferred to the ER for further treatment. There has been a significant increase in the number of people visiting these types of medical centres.
These type of clinics have become increasing popular in the United States. There are however other countries apart from the US where they are popular, and they include countries such as New Zealand, Ireland, England, Canada and Israel. Most of these centres, unfortunately, don’t open for 24 hours a day like most hospitals do. Most open at 8.00am and around 95% of all these centres close by 9.00pm.
There are two bodies that regulate the operations of these clinics. They are the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, abbreviated as A.A.U.C.M. and the U.C.A.O.A. in full, Urgent Care Association of America. These two bodies have come up with a set of rules and regulations to govern and how these clinics operate. Some of these regulations include that they should be open for all the seven days of the week, and they should have a director of medical services, and the medical director ought to be a licensed doctor. They should also be able to administer minor operations, they should have multiple treatment rooms, have medical equipment such as the X-ray machine, and the clinics should deliver quality health care.
At least more than half of all Urgent Care have a qualified, licensed medical doctor on site at all times. Nurses and medical assistants often help and support the on-site physician in treatment of the patients who visit these urgent care clinics.
States with the highest number of these medical institutions are Florida, which has 328, Texas has 283, California has 226 and North Carolina has 175. States with the lowest number are South and North Dakota, Hawaii and Vermont. They have 9, 8, 5 and three respectively.
These institutions of health service have an edge over hospitals in that they are cheaper and are less time consuming as compared to hospitals. This is because they have a less wait time as compared to hospitals.