Urgent care centers are spread throughout communities and cities, and they are the go-to place for minor medical issues or medical laboratory services such as blood tests and vaccinations.
Also called immediate care centers, you can leverage them if your primary care doctor is busy or you don’t have one.
They are different from emergency care centers because they handle and treat conditions that are not life-threatening while emergency services are for life-threatening situations.
If you need to visit an urgent care center for one health issue or the other, there are some things you need to know before you go.
What you should know before visiting an urgent care center
1. Run an online check first
Most urgent care centers don’t need prior appointments because of their nature. However, that could mean that you could face a long queue when you get there. It could 20 minutes to see a healthcare professional, or it could take an hour or longer.
However, there’s no harm in looking online if you can make an appointment or even call before your arrival. In fact, online check-in might also be available so that you provide all vital information and join the waitlist before your arrival.
2. Ensure that the center can meet your needs
Based on your health needs, one urgent care center might be better than the other. For instance, if you have health insurance, look for a care center that’ll work with your insurance plan.
Some urgent care centers have specializations, such as those that specialize in adult or pediatric care, orthopedics, or women’s health.
Get familiar with the urgent care center near you, their operation hours, and their services.
- Find out the documents you should go with
You’ll need to bring your medical records because most urgent care centers don’t keep detailed health histories.
You’ll most likely need to go with your health insurance information, current prescriptions, vaccination history, allergies, and the information of your primary healthcare physician where necessary. For minors, you also need a minor authorization form.
Urgent care centers will request your ID to verify your identity before you begin checks and treatments.
- Find out the best time to visit
As with hospitals and emergency centers, some periods are busier than others, especially weekends, nights, and even public holidays. To ensure that you get attended to faster, find out the time when the center isn’t so busy and visit at these times. You can call in advance to check before you visit.
- Expect to be attended to by any health physician you meet
Bear in mind that you might not be attended to by a doctor when you visit an urgent care center. You might find other medical staff such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can listen to you, diagnose your medical issue, and prescribe treatment before asking you to follow up with your doctor.
Get your urgent care needs attended to at Bend Urgent Care centers where you can be attended to by healthcare professionals who will solve your health issues.