More and more, people today are getting the healthcare that they need at walk-in clinics. In order to see your regular doctor when you are sick, you need an appointment. This is not the case at a walk-in clinic. People also use walk-in clinics so often because of the convenient hours. Most walk-in clinics have evening and weekend hours which are very convenient if you work or if you happen to get sick when your primary care physician's office is closed. While there are many great things about walk-in clinics, there are a few myths that keep people away. If you have been avoiding using a walk-in clinic because of things that you have heard, you should know that some of thing things that you have heard are not true.
Myth #1: That Staff at a Walk-In Clinic Isn't Qualified and Experienced
Some people avoid going to a walk-in clinic because they are worried that they won't get to see a qualified physician. This is not the case. Walk-in clinics have experienced doctors and nurses on staff. According to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, there are an estimated 20,000 physicians practicing in walk-in clinics today. There are some clinics that have nurse practitioners on staff who see patients, however, there is a licensed physician on staff as well. You can get excellent care from a qualified healthcare professional when you are treated at a walk-in clinic.
Myth #2: You Cannot Make An Appointment
In general, walk-in clinics run on a first come, first served basis. You don't need to make an appointment at a walk-in clinic, hence the name. While the general procedure is to just walk in and be treated, you can make an appointment at many clinics. If you are going in for a vaccination, for lab work, or for a routine visit, many clinics actually prefer that you make an appointment. If you are planning to be seen at a walk-in clinic, you can call and ask for an appointment. Many of them will oblige.
Myth #3: Your Situation Must Be an Emergency
There are some people who avoid going to a walk-in clinic because they believe that their situation needs to be an emergency. This is not true. In a true emergency, many people rush to the emergency room. Walk-in clinics are designed for non-emergency situations so that you can get in and out quickly. The professionals at Orchard Hospital, your everyday health care clinic, see patients in non-emergency situations including:
School and sports physicals
Diagnosing colds, the flu, and other bacterial and viral infections
Treating minor burns
These are just a few of the non-emergency services that are offered at a walk-in clinic. There are some people who believe that walk-in clinics are small emergency rooms. This is not the case. While clinics can handle certain emergency situations, they are not capable of handling life-threatening conditions. If your condition is severe, you would be transferred to a hospital emergency room.
Myth # 4: You Cannot Get Specialized Service at a Walk-In Clinic
Most people believe that you cannot go to a walk-in clinic and receive specialized care such as women's healthcare and pediatric care. In some cases, this is true. There are some walk-in clinics that only handle sick visits rather than routine visits. However, there are more and more clinics today that are providing specialized care for patients who need routine care and don't have a regular primary care physician. If you are in need of routine care and you are considering going to a walk-in clinic, you should first make sure that they are able to provide the care that you need.
Myth #5: If You Need Any Type of Medical Imaging, You Need To Go To the ER
If you have fallen down and you think that you broke a bone, you no longer need to wait for hours in the emergency room waiting area. If you are suffering from severe stomach pains, you don't need to call your primary care physician to have them order a CAT scan. These are services that you can get at a walk-in clinic. Many walk-in clinics have x-ray machines, CAT scan machines, and MRI machines. Many issues can be diagnosed at the clinic just as easily as they can be at the emergency room.
Myth #6: Walk-In Clinics Are a Trend That Won't Last Long
There are some people who believe that walk-in clinics are just trends and eventually, they will close down. This is not the case. According to Health Resources, hospitals in more rural areas have been closing their doors more frequently and at higher rates. Walk-in clinics in these areas have provided the emergency care that the people who live in these areas need. According to recent data, there are over 9,300 walk-in clinics in the United States and there are new clinics opening up all the time.
There are many myths about walk-in clinics and most of them are untrue. If you are sick or you need to be seen for a routine visit, you can get the care that you need at a walk-in clinic. You can also take advantage of the flexible hours and the quick treatment time when you visit a walk-in clinic. Contact us at the Medical Specialty Center—Your Everyday Health Care Clinic, to schedule your appointment today.