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Where to go for quick medical care

By Maureen Shelly

Can’t wait to see a provider? For non-emergencies, a walk-in clinic or urgent care center may be the right choice for you. You don’t need an appointment, and you can usually see a provider or nurse in less than an hour. Some locations are open every day, including evening hours. 

Your time is valuable. We understand, and we want to help you get the medical care you need fast. Watch the video and keep reading to learn more about where to go.

Know where to go for the care you need  


SUPER: Walk-in clinic. Urgent care center. ER. Know where to go for the care you need. 


VO: Walk-in clinic. Urgent care center. Emergency room. Know where to go for the care you need. 


SUPER: Where’s the best place to find fast, effective care for a sprained ankle? Bad cold? Lower back pain? 


VO: Where’s the best place to find fast, effective care for a sprained ankle? What about a bad cold? Or recurring lower back pain? 


VO: Choosing the appropriate place to go for treatment is a big part of receiving the most efficient care. 


SUPER: Walk-in clinic 


VO: A walk-in clinic is usually a good option to consider for minor illnesses and injuries. These walk-in neighborhood clinics treat health issues like cold and flu symptoms, sore and strep throat, earache, or allergies. 


SUPER: [Minute Clinic logo] 


VO: A walk-in clinic, like the Minute Clinic inside many CVS pharmacy locations can treat these types of issues and help you feel better fast. 


Super [illustration of signage on a door]: Welcome. Open 7 days a week. Walk-ins welcome. 


VO: Most are staffed by certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants, accept walk-ins, and are open seven days a week.  


SUPER [illustration of building signage]: Urgent Care 


VO: But what if you have a more serious, but not life-threatening, situation? Then you should go to an urgent care center. Urgent care centers can treat things like sprains and fractures, cuts that require stitches, or lower back and joint pain. 


SUPER: Urgent care centers 


VO: Urgent care centers are also staffed by certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as other licensed practitioners. Many also offer additional services to what you would find in a walk-in clinic, like X-rays and lab services on site.  


SUPER [illustration of building signage]: Walk-in clinic. Urgent Care. 


VO: Walk-in clinics and urgent care centers can handle many health problems.  


SUPER [illustration of building signage]: Emergency 


VO: But you should go to an emergency room if you experience intense and unexpected symptoms like chest pain, difficulty breathing or severe bleeding.  


SUPER: Emergency room 


VO: Emergency rooms have a wider range of specialists and treatment options. So they are equipped to handle more serious issues.  


SUPER: Aetna logo 


SUPER [disclaimer]: This message is form informational purposes only, is not medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change. For more information about Aetna plans, refer to 


Copyright 2019 Aetna Inc. 

APN: 20.27.301.1 

Walk-in clinic

For many minor problems — fever, pain or stomach symptoms — a walk-in clinic is often a good choice. You can get prescription medicine, birth control, screening tests and vaccinations. Health clinics can be found inside many retail pharmacies, including CVS Pharmacy®.

Clinics may also treat skin conditions, earaches, sexually transmitted diseases, asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes. Clinics will often see children over 18 months.

Urgent care center

Urgent care centers can treat broken bones and cuts that require stitches. Unlike clinics, these offices have X-rays, IVs and other special equipment. Call or visit the website of the center near you to check whether it takes your insurance.

Emergency room (ER) 

If you think it’s an emergency, the ER is best. Call 911 or go right away if you have chest pain, trouble breathing or severe bleeding.

Aetna and CVS Pharmacy® are part of the CVS Health family of companies. 

About the author

Maureen Shelly is a health and science geek living in New York City.


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