Urgent care centers are a great tool for individuals faced with modern healthcare issues that don’t need an emergency room. Today there are more than 9,000 locations around the United States serving patients. Before you visit a walk-in urgent care center, remember these three things.
The Wait Times Vary
According to the National Library of Medicine, over 50% of urgent care patients wait 15 minutes or less, and the average urgent care wait time is between 15-45 minutes. Although walk-in urgent care is often quicker than a hospital visit, do not be surprised by having to wait to be soon, especially during peak hours. To reduce wait times, patients can sometimes check in online. Checking in online and having a printed, filled-out medical history form can regulate wait times.
Keep in mind that some urgent care centers do allow appointments. You can call a center ahead of your arrival to see if you can reserve a specific time slot to shorten your wait time.
What You Need to Bring With You
Urgent care centers do not maintain an extensive record of a patient’s medical history like a regular doctor’s office does. Because of this, you will want to bring all necessary medical documentation with you to the clinic. You will also need to have your doctor’s name and office information available, as well as a picture ID. Remember that for most walk-in urgent care visits, you will be responsible for the cost of the visit at the time of the appointment.
You Won’t Always See a Doctor
You may be seen by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work in urgent care are experienced in the problems frequently encountered in this setting. They can readily consult with a board-certified physician working alongside them if they need to. Regardless of the type of healthcare professional you see, they will likely offer treatment and then recommend following up with your regular doctor if you have one.
Walk-in urgent care is a great resource if you need care for a minor medical issue or if you require other medical services like lab work and vaccinations. These centers are convenient and widely accessible. For more information on our urgent care facility, give us a call today!