From Urgent Care Center to Walk-In Clinics, Which One is Right for You?

June 1, 2016

From urgent care centers to walk-in clinics, trips to the family doctor or emergency room visits -- there are more healthcare options to choose from than ever before. And while having more choices is definitely a plus, Jackson Purchase Medical Center realizes that it also can be confusing when it comes to selecting the right option at the right time. 

"Knowing who to call or where to go is critical in ensuring the ongoing health and well-being of our communities," said Dave Anderson chief executive officer, Jackson Purchase Medical Center. "At Jackson Purchase Medical Center, our mission is making communities healthier, and one way we can do that is to ensure that our community members know where to go to get the care they need." 

Walk-in Clinics

Walk-in clinics emphasize affordability and convenience for individuals with common, non-life-threatening conditions. Walk-in clinics are good options for out-of-town visitors who need care but may not be able to access a list of in-network providers. These types of clinics also offer affordable care to individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. Services may include treatment of: 

  • minor injuries, like burns and sprains
  • minor infections 
  • pink eye
  • sinus and sore throat
  • skin rashes
  • upset stomachs

Some walk-in clinics also offer vaccinations, pregnancy tests and routine physicals. Jackson Purchase Primary Care Mayfield Family Medicine located at 1111 Medical Center Drive   

Urgent Care Centers

Similar to walk-in clinics, urgent care centers offer quick and effective care for minor injuries or illnesses that need urgent attention. They can also offer more enhanced services such as x-rays or IV administration. Individuals might choose urgent care facilities for: 

  • minor cuts, burns and wounds 
  • minor eye injuries, infections or irritations 
  • severe cold & flu symptoms 
  • sprains
  • muscle aches & pains 
  • persistent fever 
  • allergies 
  • severe earaches 
  • upset stomach 
  • other non-life threatening but urgent needs

Primary Care

Primary care refers to a person's regular physician or physician group -- it's where someone might go when sick or in need of preventive care such as an annual physical or wellness check. Typically, people visit primary care doctors for: 

  • annual exams and screenings
  • immunizations
  • chronic disease 
  • prenatal care 
  • earaches 
  • colds 
  • fevers
  • non-urgent healthcare needs 

Any person without a primary care physician can search Jackson Purchase Medical Center's Physician Finder or call 270-251-4100 to find the right doctor.

Emergency Room Care

Emergency room visits should be reserved for immediate situations that, if not treated immediately, could result in the loss of life or a limb. These may include: 

  • symptoms of heart disease such as chest pain or severe shortness of breath
  • warning signs of stroke such as numbness in the face, arms and legs
  • severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn't stop
  • automobile or industrial accident
  • poisoning
  • complicated bone fractures
  • major illness
  • head injuries
  • suicide attempts or thoughts

It is important to remember that the emergency room is for emergencies only. Anyone experiencing or witnessing any of the above, or any other potentially life-threatening medical condition, should call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room immediately. 

Jackson Purchase Medical Center recently earned Cycle V Chest Pain Accreditation for its ability to deliver potentially life-saving emergency heart care and continuously earns high satisfaction marks from patients who have recently visited the Emergency Department. 

"At Jackson Purchase Medical Center we are genuinely honored that our community members continuously choose us for their healthcare needs," said Dave Anderson "We encourage individuals with questions about their healthcare needs to call the hospital so that we can make sure they get the answers they need and find the care that's right for them." 

To learn more about Jackson Purchase Medical Center's offerings, call 270-251-4100 or visit