A walk-in clinic is a medical facility that accepts patients on a walk-in basis and with no appointment required. Several healthcare service providers fall under the walk-in clinic umbrella including urgent care centers, retail clinics and even many free clinics or community health clinics. Walk-in clinics offer the advantages of being accessible and often inexpensive.
Walk-In Clinics are not appropriate for life-threatening emergencies; however, they are well designed to offer treatment for common, non-life-threatening ailments such as:
Severe cold or flu.
Unusual or severe migraine.
The role of walk-in clinics also includes serving those with minor injuries such as:
Minor broken bone.
Mild eye injury.
Minor cuts and burns.
In the case of severe injury or illness, or if you are experiencing an injury where the symptoms may be life threatening, seek out your nearest emergency room or call 911. If you have a life-threatening emergency, a walk-in facility is not the best option, as they are usually not fully equipped with life-saving equipment for advanced treatment. Find your nearest emergency room, or call 911 immediately.
Walk-in clinics offer a variety of advantages, making them a desirable option for healthcare.
Provide on demand care: No appointment necessary, you don’t have to wait for your provider’s schedule to open up; walk-in clinics are often open evenings and weekends.
Flexible business hours: Many walk-in clinics have extended business hours and are open evenings and weekends. This is especially beneficial to those that work odd hours or have trouble planning around a full schedule.
Wait times are minimal: Wait times are significantly less than at an ER, and using an urgent care facility frees up the ER to treat life-threatening emergencies.
Cost is minimal: Care is provided at a fraction of the cost of treatment at an ER and is comparable to what you’d pay visiting the doctor.
Availability: With new walk-in clinics established every day, there is often a close and convenient option.