When To Visit a Walk-In Clinic Instead of the Emergency Room for Your Healthcare Needs

Did you know that Burnett Medical Center has a walk-in clinic right here in Grantsburg, WI? Many people may not know that not all acute health issues require a visit to the emergency room. Some medical issues that require immediate attention but aren’t life-threatening are better suited for walk-in clinics, like the one at Burnett Medical Center.

What Can Be Treated in Emergency Rooms

The primary purpose of an emergency room is to stabilize and treat patients in critical condition, ensuring their survival and preventing further deterioration. They are designed to handle complex cases such as heart attacks, strokes, and severe trauma. If you have a simple fracture on your leg or minor burns, you most likely won’t get treated immediately since other patients are the priority.

Here are some of the specific issues that should prompt you to visit an emergency room:

  1. Trauma and Accidents: Emergency rooms are well-prepared to treat traumatic injuries resulting from accidents, sports injuries, or motor vehicle collisions. These can include:
    1. Major Fractures
    2. Head Injuries
    3. Deep Cuts
    4. Severe Burns
    5. Other Major Traumas
  2. Chest Pain and Cardiac Emergencies: Chest pain can be a symptom of a heart attack or other cardiac conditions that necessitate urgent evaluation and treatment. Emergency rooms are equipped with the necessary tools to diagnose and manage cardiac emergencies promptly.
  3. Stroke Symptoms: When someone experiences sudden weakness, slurred speech, facial drooping, or other signs of a stroke, time is of the essence. Emergency rooms are equipped to evaluate and treat strokes promptly to minimize potential brain damage.
  4. Poisoning and Overdose: Emergency rooms can handle cases of poisoning, drug overdoses, or toxic exposures. Medical professionals in the emergency room can administer appropriate antidotes, perform necessary interventions, and closely monitor patients during their recovery.
  5. Mental Health Emergencies: Individuals experiencing acute psychiatric crises, including severe depression, suicidal thoughts, or psychotic episodes, can seek immediate help in the emergency room. Emergency rooms have protocols in place to evaluate, stabilize, and provide appropriate interventions for mental health emergencies.

What Can Be Treated in Walk-In Clinics

While emergency rooms are equipped to handle critical situations, they are not intended for routine or non-life-threatening conditions. In such cases, visiting a walk-in clinic or scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician may be more appropriate. The walk-in clinic at Burnett Medical Center specializes in providing care for conditions that “can’t wait for tomorrow.” We are equipped with dedicated staff and the right equipment to handle the following and more:

  • Acute Pain
  • Minor Bruises and Burns
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Insect Bites and Stings
  • Minor Eye Issues like Pink Eye and Irritation
  • Cuts, Scrapes, and Puncture Wounds
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

It’s valid to ask questions like “Should I go to the emergency room?” since most people may not know the difference between walk-in clinics and emergency departments. To learn more, please contact us today!