What Is a Walk-in Clinic?

Walkin clinic emergency room child

A Walk-in clinic is a term used to describe a health care centre which provides affordable medical care at a basic level. The care is generally not as advanced as what you would receive in an emergency room. A Walk-in clinic may be referred to as a retail clinic and are frequently found near retailers or drug stores or pharmacies. They are easy for clients or patients to find and use.

The staff in Walk-in clinics are nurse practitioners and physician assistants. In the early days Walk-in clinics were a way to help uninsured or underinsured patients for lesser non life-threatening conditions. Walk-in clinics may be open for extended hours.

Generally today Walk-in clinics still help the uninsured but they tend not to have an appointment diary. You are treated on a first come, first served system. As before they are based around the concepts of convenience, care and affordability. Normally they will provide help with minor injuries such as small cuts, and with illnesses such as skin conditions, flu or colds, strep throats and then they will also provide help and assistance with immunizations, physicals and health screens.

A summary of likely issues to be treated includes but is not limited to;

  • Possible sprains or broken bones
  • Cuts that need stitches or glue
  • Sports injuries
  • Minor eye and ear problems
  • Minor burns and scalds
  • Cold and flu symptoms (including sore throats)
  • Minor illnesses including fever, infections and rashes
  • Insect and animal bites

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