Urgent Care and Walk-In Clinic Q&A
Immediate Care of Oklahoma treats children and adults of all ages. Our urgent care clinic is devoted to providing all of our patients with exceptional service. Call our office or walk into one of our clinic locations.
Table of Contents:
When should you go to urgent care vs the emergency room?
Do I need a referral from a doctor to go to urgent care?
Is an urgent care center the same as a walk-in clinic?
Can I go to urgent care instead of the doctor?
Urgent care clinics are the backbone of the healthcare system. A lot of people are not aware of the convenience and abilities that urgent care centers have. They can treat many urgent medical situations, such as a broken bone, a strain or sprain, or even flu tests. They take a big load off of emergency rooms by taking care of patients with urgent but non-life-threatening conditions.
Recognizing the differences between ‘emergency’ and ‘urgent’ care are often confusing because both terms imply there’s a medical need that must be addressed quickly. However, including the extent of care which will be provided at each, there are distinct differences between hospital emergency rooms, traditional urgent care centers, or walk-in clinics.
Urgent care or walk-in clinics help fill an important gap once you become sick or injured, but your regular doctor isn’t available and you can’t wait for an appointment. If your sudden illness or injury are some things you’d normally feel comfortable addressing together with your medical care doctor, then an urgent care center or walk-in clinic setting is perhaps more appropriate than the ER. Hospital emergency departments provide medical aid at any time, day or night. However, different from both urgent care centers and walk-in clinics, they are equipped and staffed for the most complex or critical needs, including life-threatening and limb-threatening situations, from heart attack and stroke to severe diseases and traumatic injuries following a car accident.
It’s important to know when to travel to the ER. Because they will require rapid or advanced treatments (such as surgery) that are only available during a hospital setting, there are a variety of medical conditions that are considered emergencies. Symptoms that are best evaluated in an ER include:
• Chest pain or difficulty breathing
• Weakness/numbness on one side
• Slurred speech
• Fainting/change in psychological state
• Serious burns
• Head or eye injury
• Broken bones and dislocated joints
• Fever with a rash
• Severe cuts which will require stitches
• Facial lacerations
• Severe cold or flu symptoms
• Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
While a few may practice it, urgent care clinics are not appointment-based but are walk-in. No referral is needed to visit an urgent care center. That would be quite contradictory, as urgent care clinics are open later than doctor’s offices to provide after-hours care.
While most, if not all, urgent care clinics are walk-in based, there is a difference between a clinic that is labeled “walk-in” and not “urgent care.” Walk-in clinics typically do not provide as advanced service as an urgent care clinic, as they do not have the equipment on-site nor the staff. They are typically staffed by nurse practitioners, while urgent care centers usually have a physician on-site or call.
Urgent care facilities are designed to take on a whole host of healthcare needs, so if your doctor is unavailable, you are encouraged to go to an urgent care center.
If you or someone you know is looking for a top-rated urgent care clinic, come to Immediate Care of Oklahoma! Our kind and compassionate staff are experienced in treating a wide range of illnesses and ailments, and can help restore your health, regardless of your age! To talk with a member of our specialist team, contact our office today. Or to book an appointment, visit us online or simply give us a call! We serve patients from West Moore OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, Norman (24th) OK, Edmond OK, Yukon OK, I-240 & Sooner RD OK, Tecumseh OK, and Bethany OK.
Additional Services You May Need
▸ Urgent Care Services
▸ Illness + Injuries
▸ On Site Lab + X-Ray
▸ Helpful Health
▸ Motor Vehicle Accidents
▸ Drug Testing
▸ UTI Treatment
▸ Employment Physicals
▸ Workers Comp
▸ Strep Throat Treatment
▸ Pregnancy Testing
▸ Blood Pressure Testing
▸ Mononucleosis Treatment
▸ Suture Removal
▸ Respiratory Syncytial Virus