From time to time, anyone may suffer minor maladies or illnesses that need medical treatment, and across the United States, thousands of urgent care clinics are out there to provide medical treatment for all sorts of minor injuries or illnesses in adults. Unlike a hospital, such clinics for urgent care are relatively affordable, common, and easy to navigate, especially with their short wait times. Different types of urgent care centers exist, but all of them have medical staff and supplies ready to treat various ailments in adults. Where can one find urgent care centers? What symptoms does urgent care treat? What are the best perks of these facilities?

Common Ailments

Not every illness or injury is gravely serious. Everyday accidents and illnesses can result in symptoms or conditions that call for a visit to the nearest clinic for urgent care, and plenty of Americans every year have need of these urgent care clinics. Even something as mundane and common as poison ivy and its rash may be treated at an urgent care clinic. After all, this plant can be found in every American state except Alaska and Hawaii, and it is estimated that 85% of people are in fact allergic to it. Home remedies exist for poison ivy rashes, but for more serious or widespread rashes, visiting an urgent care clinic is probably the best route to take, especially if the large rash may impact the patient’s health in other ways.

Viral infections such as the common cold and flu are also treated with urgent care if need be. A minor cold probably does not necessitate an urgent care visit, but a more serious case probably will if the symptoms become pronounced enough. Every year, on average, about 5% to 20% of Americans will contract the flu, and if the case is serious enough, urgent care may step in. Symptoms such as vomiting, a high fever, and worse can be handled at such a facility. A bad cold in a child may also be treated at an urgent care clinic. All together, Americans contract one billion cold per year, and not all of them are merely mild inconveniences.

Ankle sprains are another injury that urgent care can handle. Reports have estimated that some 25,000 Americans suffer an ankle sprain every single day, sometimes from intense athletic activity or falling from a distance. Bone fractures are another malady that urgent care can handle, and four out of five urgent care clinics overall will have the staff and equipment to provide first aid for that. Upper respiratory conditions are also a very common ailment that a walk in clinic will address, and wound repair is another typical injury treated there. In fact, in 2012, wound repair was the single most common medical procedure undertaken in urgent care facilities.

The Facilities

Urgent care can be found in any one of thousands of walk in clinics and similar sites across the United States, and they are popular, seeing as roughly 3 million patients visit them every week, according to data from the Urgent Care Association of America. Roughly 85% of these urgent care facilities are open seven days a week, and for those that are not, a person can look up the hours of availability for a nearby location. These clinics can also see many patients in a day, often at a rate of three per hour or so, with an average wait time around 15 minutes.

Finding an urgent care clinic is often as simple as performing an Internet search for “24 hour urgent care near me” and following the directions to the clinic’s address. What is more, some urgent care clinics are in fact retail clinics, meaning that they are built into large retailers like Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Target, and such retailer are easy to find and have ample parking for customers. These clinics may also write out or refill drug prescriptions, as will many other urgent care clinics.