It is an undeniable fact that there are certain situations where attending the emergency room at a hospital is needed. Experiences such as trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, injuries to head, neck, or spine, or seizures should not be ignored and immediate medical assistance should be sought if they occur.
But for less serious medical conditions, visiting a walk-in clinic can be beneficial and you can leave after being treated knowing that you got the help you needed and deserved. Below are some of the benefits of visiting a walk-in clinic for the treatment of less severe medical issues.
Walk-in clinics are convenient because they are often open during evening hours and weekends when your family doctor is unavailable. Some clinics require a person to make an appointment to be seen and some allow people to attend the clinic without an appointment and just wait to be seen.
Either way, walk-in clinics are convenient. If you need to make an appointment, at least you will receive a time slot where you are guaranteed to be seen by a doctor. If you do not need to call ahead for an appointment, you may have to wait for a longer period of time but the chances of you being treated by a doctor are still good as no clinic would turn away a person that needs to see a doctor.
2. Quick service
We have all been in this situation: attending an emergency room, checking in at the front desk, waiting for hours in the waiting room, finally being called to wait in another room, and then waiting even longer for the doctor.
Attending a walk-in clinic means not having to wait for hours at the emergency room to be seen for a minor issue. As mentioned some clinics require you to call ahead for an appointment, some do not. Regardless, you will be seen quicker than if you attended an emergency room at a hospital.
3. Qualified Staff
Walk-in clinics are staffed by urgent care physicians, registered nurses, and assistants who are qualified and offer a high standard of care. A patient does not need to have a family doctor or a referral from anywhere to be seen-just a government-issued health card.
Doctors at walk-in clinics do not need your full medical history to provide care. They will only be concerned with the immediate issue, provide treatment, and contact your family doctor to provide a record of you attending the clinic. A walk-in clinic doctor can also make a referral to a specialist if deemed necessary.
4. Eases load on emergency rooms
Emergency room overcrowding is a major issue in Canada and it is the worst out of most developed nations in the world. The average wait time at a hospital emergency room is at least 4 hours. Would you want to wait at least 4 hours to be seen for a rash, cut, or broken bone?
This is where walk-in clinics excel. They allow citizens with minor medical issues to be seen in a timely manner without waiting hours in an emergency room and allows doctors in hospitals to devote their attention to those with more serious and life-threatening injuries.
5. Access to diagnostic services
Walk-in clinics offer easy access to diagnostic services if needed. Amenities such as laboratory testing, x-rays, disease testing, and diagnostic imaging are often offered at a walk-in clinic allowing you to attend for timely service and get the services you need for your medical issue on-site.
Doctors have the ability to prescribe medications as needed as well and some clinics have pharmacies on-site that save you from going elsewhere to have the prescription filled which is especially helpful when you are not feeling well.