Walk-In Clinic Visits Questions and Answers
If you or someone you know needs urgent medical attention, just simply walk into Lake Family Medicine & Imaging today. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Sanford, FL, and surrounding areas.
What do walk-in clinics treat?
Walk-in clinics are a convenient and cost-effective alternative to primary care clinics, urgent care centers, or emergency rooms for someone who needs same-day medical treatment but don’t have a primary care provider. Walk-in clinics commonly provide treatment for minor illnesses or injuries that you wouldn’t go to urgent care or emergency room for, such as:
- Colds and influenza
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Ear infections
- Flu shots and vaccinations
- Minor fractures, sprains, and strains
- Minor burns, cuts, and lacerations
- Physical examinations
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Sinus infections
- Sore throat/strep throat
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Do you need an appointment for a walk-in clinic?
One of the key benefits of walk-in clinics is in the name – you just walk in, no appointment required. That being said, it can sometimes be helpful to call ahead of a visit if you are unsure if that is where you should be going (as opposed to urgent care or emergency room). You may also be able to find out if there is much of a wait time, particularly if you are taking young children.
When should I visit a walk-in clinic?
Walk-in clinics are the best option for common, non-serious, everyday issues that don’t require urgent or emergency treatment. They can also provide some preventive care services and testing, but they are not intended to replace a primary care provider; any chronic health condition should be overseen by a regular physician.
What is the difference between urgent care and a walk-in clinic?
Urgent care and walk-in clinics both accept patients on a walk-in basis without requiring scheduled appointments but there are some key differences.
Urgent care centers handle illnesses or injuries that are more serious than those typically treated at a walk-in clinic. They usually have X-ray and laboratory services on-site and provide patients with a more cost-effective alternative to a hospital or emergency room, but any situation that is either life-threatening or risks long-term/permanent disability should be dealt with at an emergency room and not at an urgent care clinic. Urgent care centers will typically have at least one medical doctor on staff, along with nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, and a physician will be available to see patients whenever they are open.
Walk-in clinics are locations in which a healthcare provider offers medical care to a patient without the need for an appointment. They were originally intended to provide healthcare to people who either didn’t have insurance or didn’t have enough to cover their treatment. Today there are thousands of clinics providing convenient, basic medical services to people on a walk-in basis. The umbrella of ‘walk-in clinic’ covers facilities in pharmacies, retail locations, urgent care centers, and even emergency rooms but the term is generally used in the context of a stand-alone facility in a pharmacy or commercial area. Although technically walk-in clinics, urgent care centers, and emergency rooms are known by their own specific titles. Walk-in clinics generally work on a ‘first come, first-served basis, whereas urgent cares and emergency rooms use a triage system to make sure the sickest patients are seen first. Walk-in clinics provide a more affordable alternative to urgent cares or emergency rooms for non-urgent basic medical care and are often staffed by nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants.
If you would like to know more about the walk-in services we provide, contact Lake Family Medicine & Imaging today, or just walk in! We serve patients from Sanford FL, Heathrow FL, Lake Mary FL, Midway FL, Longwood FL, Lake Monroe FL, and surrounding areas. We look forward to meeting you!