Of the myriad of healthcare solutions and facilities available, urgent care clinics are among the most popular medical facilities in the world. The U.S. alone boasts over 7,300 healthcare centers, according to a benchmarking report by the Urgent Care Association of America in 2016. And with this service steadily gaining popularity, the number has certainly increased to date.
The sweeping popularity of urgent care centers could be ascribed to their cheap services, convenience, and shorter wait times when compared to ordinary medical centers. They also have all the equipment you’d expect in a normal hospital but are way quicker in adopting hot new tech.
With that being said, many people still have little to no experience with urgent care and therefore have no idea what to do before the visit, or what to expect when they get there.
This article will bring you up to speed on what urgent care is and show you a few things you could do before visiting urgent care clinics to get the most out of your visit.
What is Urgent Care?
In simple terms, an urgent care center is a category of walk-in clinics where licensed medical practitioners offer medical services, including treatment, diagnosis, and advice. Urgent care clinics are very reliable and offer immediate medical attention from certified medical professionals.
If you’re going to an urgent care clinic for the first time, there are a few key things you should know before your visit.
Find the Best Clinic for You
As a rule of thumb, you should find an urgent care center that accepts your health insurance before settling on any other clinic, so you don’t have to dig into your pockets for medical services. You should also look for a clinic around your area to avoid traveling miles to get treatment. You’ll also save on time by doing this.
Some facilities specialize in particular forms of healthcare solutions like pediatric urgent care clinics or women’s clinics. If you need specialized treatments, then these particular types of urgent care clinics will provide the right health solutions for you.
Consider Booking Your Visit Online
Most urgent care clinics are walk-in, meaning an appointment won’t be necessary for you to see a medical professional. Even so, you’ll still have to wait for a few minutes to an hour to see a medical professional, depending on the number of patients seeing the doctor at the moment.
If you find an urgent care clinic that allows appointments, don’t hesitate to book an appointment online. You can even choose the medical professional and time of the appointment with some urgent clinics.
Other clinics allow online check-ins so that you can provide your information and details about your health condition before the actual visit.
Carry Your Medical Documentation
Unlike hospitals and other medical facilities, urgent care centers don’t keep extensive medical records for their patients. It is therefore important to bring with you the necessary medical documents that are typically essential for a proper medical examination.
Some insurance information and a list of prescription meds you’re on at the time of visit may also be needed, so be sure to bring them along. Most important of all is your driver’s license or some other form of identification, such as your passport, and money to pay for the services.
Understand That You May or May Not See a Doctor
But this doesn’t mean you won’t get the medical attention you need. Urgent clinics will have doctors present or on-call, but that’s not always the case. Some will have doctors coming in part times or have other licensed medical officers to provide you with healthcare solutions.
Some of these medical professionals include nurse practitioners and doctor’s assistants. With any of these providers, you’ll still get the top-notch healthcare solutions you paid for. If you insist on seeing a doctor, you can choose to either wait for the doctor to arrive or opt for another clinic.
For all of your healthcare solutions, consider visiting an urgent care clinic today and see for yourself how affordable and convenient they are.