No one likes being sick or not feeling well. So, if you are experiencing a minor illness or injury that doesn’t require rapid or advanced care or treatments, consider going to a walk in clinic.
From cuts to coughs, walk in clinics offer convenient, fast, affordable care and services. There are a number of advantages of going to a walk in clinic. Read on to learn some of these key advantages.
1. Get treatment for minor illnesses and injuries
Even if it’s minor, you can get care for your symptoms or injury at a walk in clinic. Whether you just want to be seen quickly or you need care after regular business hours, these clinics can diagnose and provide treatment for a variety of conditions such as:
- Minor injuries such as bruises, minor pain concerns (like back pain), sprains and strains, or minor broken bones.
- Minor cuts, lacerations, and infections.
- Minor burns.
- Cold, flu, and respiratory symptoms such as earaches, congestion, sore throats, headaches, or low-grade fevers.
- Minor eye issues like irritation or pink eye.
- Gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Allergies or minor allergic reactions, including hives or a rash.
It’s important to go to an emergency room (ER) or call 911 if you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, severe bleeding or pain, difficulty breathing, or another emergent or life-threatening injury or illness.
2. Additional services may be provided
In addition to treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, some walk in clinics may offer additional services for you and your family such as:
- Testing for COVID-19 and the flu.
- Sports, school, employment, or other types of physicals for both children and adults.
- Occupational medicine solutions for employers (like pre-employment screenings or treatment for work-related injuries).
3. You’ll be seen and treated faster
Unlike emergency rooms that see patients in order of severity, walk in clinics see patients on a first-come, first-served basis. More than 34% of patients spend between two and four hours in an emergency room, sometimes waiting up to an hour or more to see a physician. However, at a walk in clinic, you may be able to be seen faster because patients won’t be seen ahead of you even if they arrive after you.
4. Get care when you need it
walk in clinics are open during regular business hours, but many clinics are also conveniently open evenings, weekends, and some holidays as well. This can be especially helpful if you have minor symptoms or pain but your provider’s office is closed, or you aren’t able to be seen right away, and you can still get the care you need quickly without having to spend more time in an ER.
5. Get care where you need it
An illness or injury doesn’t always happen conveniently, and it’s important to be able to get care without having to travel a great distance. walk in clinics are often conveniently located in your neighborhood, which can be a major benefit. You’ll also find that walk in clinics are often located near or next to local pharmacies or other medical facilities should you need a prescription filled or quick access to follow-up care.
6. Save money
Recent data states the average cost of an emergency room visit is around $1,150, though depending on the specific care you need, the cost could be much more. However, if you can go to a walk in clinic instead, you’ll find they are usually much more cost-effective, especially if you have health insurance coverage. In many cases, you’ll be charged a fraction of what you’d pay for the same or similar services at an ER.
Even if you don’t have health insurance, you’ll still find that walk in clinics usually have lower copays than what you’d pay at an emergency room.
7. Get access to virtual care
Having easy access to virtual care has become significantly more important over the last few years, and access to virtual care at a walk in clinic can be greatly beneficial. Some clinics may provide this service, offering you fast and convenient access to care without having to leave your home.
8. No appointment is necessary
If you aren’t feeling well, you don’t need to wait to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or spend hours in the ER to get treatment. You can go to a walk in clinic any time they are open, and you do not need to schedule an appointment to do so. Just walk in whenever you need care.
9. Check in online
Some walk in clinics offer the ability to check in online before you arrive. Doing this can essentially “reserve your spot” in line at the clinic. This isn’t a scheduled appointment and wait times can always vary, but online check-in may help make your visit faster and easier.
Check-in while you’re on your way to the clinic, or reserve your spot later in the day and wait at home. Your clinic may offer real-time reminders and/or updates via text or email or arrive at the time you’ve checked in for.