5 Things You Need to Know About Urgent Care Facilities

Walk in medical clinic

You shouldn’t wait until you need medical care to figure out where you should be going. That’s the kind of thing that you should figure out before you have some sort of emergency. If you don’t know any of the local doctors in your area then you should at least familiarize yourself with the nearest walk in clinic as well as the emergency room. The main difference between the two is if you think your situation might be life threatening- go to the emergency room. Pretty much everything else can be seen at a medical walk in clinic like an urgent care. Here are a few things that you should know about an urgent care facility.

You can check in online
One of the best things about an urgent care center is that there is not much of a wait. At an emergency room, people are not treated on a first come first served basis. It’s based more on the severity of the situation. Even if you have been waiting for hours, if someone comes in that is in a more dangerous state than you, they will be seen before you. At an urgent care or walk in clinic, it’s first come first served. If you want to avoid the wait all together, some urgent cares will allow you to check in online. The online waiting system will give you an estimated time of arrival. They usually prefer you to get there about 10 minutes before your estimated time of appointment so that you can feel out any necessary paperwork.

They don’t treat life or death situations
That’s what the emergency room is for. IF you aren’t sure whether you are experiencing a life threatening situation, your best bet is to go to the emergency room. If it turns out not to be life threatening, you can always leave and check in online to a near by urgent care while you are on the way there. This will save you a lot of time. If you are at an urgent care with a life or death situation, they’ll either tell you to go to an emergency room or they may take you there in an ambulance, depending on how severe the situation is. To avoid the expensive rides, go first to the ER.

They are owned by doctors
One of the reasons that people don’t like urgent cares is because they think that they aren’t going to be able to see a real doctor. However, this is a common misconception. Most urgent cares are actually owned by a doctor or several doctors. This means that they have a vested interest in making sure that the clinic works. There is always at least one doctor on the premises at all times. You’ll usually see a nurse first and they will get all the preliminary information but after that you will be taken into a room to see the actual doctor in most cases.

You can get vaccinations there
Walk in urgent care clinics are not just for appointments and injuries and things. You can actually get your vaccinations there as well. If you need the flu vaccination or you realize that your children are missing something from their medical file, you can take them to urgent care to fill in the blanks. It will be the same process of putting in your name and waiting or you can check in online. Even if you wait there it should be more than 15 or 20 minutes before you are called back.

The visits go on your general medical record
Most urgent care facilities will ask for your social security. This means that any information they obtain during the appointment or any conditions to be diagnosed will be added to your general medical file. If you go to another doctor or emergency room later on, your urgent care visit will show up in case it has any relevant information. If you do not wish for the appointment to go on file, you may decline from giving your social or name and pay out of pocket. This may make things quite a bit more expensive if you don’t want your insurance to cover the visit.

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