Have you ever wondered what the difference between a hospital and a clinic is? Many people just rush to the emergency room for any small thing. Apart from that being very expensive, it is unnecessary. Most communities have clinics that can help with minor illnesses or injuries fast and effectively. It is also more than likely the cheaper option. There are different types of clinics that may specialize in specific areas like family health, family planning, or low-cost care.
It should be easy to find clinics and hospitals in your area simply by checking the phone book or the Internet. It is always good to know where they are and which one is best suited to your problem. This post is to educate our readers on the difference between hospitals and clinics. We hope that this will save you time and money next time you need healthcare or have an emergency.
What is it?
Hospitals are institutions that specialize in different fields of medical and surgical treatment.
Clinics are places that are run by or assisted by hospitals or medical schools. Outpatients are treated here and they often pay much less or can even get free care.
What are the different types?
There are 4 types of hospitals:
- General: Many different types of injuries and diseases are treated here.
- District: This is where intensive care and long-term care patients go.
- Specialized: There are different kinds. Some examples are rehabilitation hospitals, trauma centers, and seniors’ hospitals.
- Teaching: This is where medical students and nurses assist patients as part of their practical studies.
There are 4 types of clinics:
Retail based, free clinics, specialist clinics, and general outpatient clinics.
What departments do they have?
Hospitals can have many different departments. They can include a cancer department, maternity department, inpatient department, outpatient department, accident department, cardiology department, paediatric department, etc.
Clinics do not have departments as they offer more generalized care.
How do their hours work?
- Hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Clinics are only open for about 4 or 5 hours a day.
Do they have rooms and beds for patients?
Hospitals have many rooms and beds for their patients. These rooms can be found in different wards for the different departments.
Clinics do not have rooms and beds for patients as no patients stay overnight. There might be a few examination rooms with examination tables/beds, but not like you will find in a hospital.
Do they have funeral homes?
Hospitals tend to have funeral homes. This is because patients die at hospitals when they have lost the fight against a terminal illness or after long-term care. Not all operations are always successful and sometimes accidents caused too much damage and the patients doesn’t recover no matter what the doctors do.
Clinics only treat outpatients and they generally don’t deal with emergencies. Therefore, they don’t have a funeral home because they don’t need one. People very rarely die at clinics because they don’t treat illnesses or injuries that are that severe. That is what hospitals are for.
Do they have emergency kits?
All hospitals should have emergency kits. They often deal with emergencies and accidents and have emergency rooms. It is a central part of hospital services to treat emergencies.
Clinics don’t usually have emergency kits as this is not a central part of their services. Emergencies will go straight to a hospital or referred there if they come to a clinic. Clinics are generally not equipped to handle emergencies.
What types of situations do they cater for?
More serious situations like accident victims, cancer patients, women who go into labor, and serious illnesses will be best treated at a hospital. Hospitals are fully equipped to deal with almost any healthcare situation. The doctors and nurses are specialists in their fields.
Minor injuries, simple flu or cold symptoms, rashes, and other such problems can be treated at clinics. A doctor will see the patient, do a diagnosis and write a prescription if it is necessary. The patient will then be sent home with medicines or other treatments to help them get better.
Now that you know the main differences between hospitals and clinics, you should understand the functions of each. Hospitals cater for a wider variety of illnesses, injuries, and emergencies. Clinics, on the other hand, cater for more low-key and general situations. To sum it up, you can get any type of care at a hospital including that which you can get at a clinic. However, you cannot get all the types of care at a clinic that you can get at a hospital.