When you are having a medical emergency and do not have the patience to wait in notoriously long lines at your local emergency room, urgent care is welcome relief. Even though your condition is not life threatening, you know you can get help now without prolonging pain. Competent staff at urgent care centers have the same medical training as healthcare workers at major hospitals and private healthcare offices. However, they generally have lighter work loads and can give patients the quick medical response that is not possible for overworked caretakers in larger facilities. Here are some tips for easing through the urgent care process.
Make an Appointment
Although most urgent care centers offer walk-in services, it is still a good idea to make an appointment, even if it is for a time later on the same day. Often, patients are seen in the order of arrival, but an appointment always takes precedence over a walk-in. It also gives the workers more room to plan their daily tasks if they know how many patients are actually coming on a given day.
Same Insurance Rules Apply
The fact that a facility is an urgent care center does not remove your obligation to settle payments at the time of service. You are allowed to use acceptable insurance, and the administrative staff will likely contact your insurance company to verify your coverage before rendering service. For those who may not have insurance, there is sometimes a flat fee for service, if extensive on-site tests are not required.
Take Advantage of Online Wait Time Monitoring
One of the best features of urgent care centers is that you do not have to sit in the waiting room to wait for a physician. You can check in online and monitor the wait time from your home or current location. This is a great benefit for those who are visiting urgent care while they are still on a work shift. Wait time estimates are in real time, so it is easy to estimate when you will be called.
The modern urgent care center provides a good alternative to emergency room care. In fact, some urgent care workers have been trained in treating trauma victims in emergency rooms. These competent caring workers understand the nature of fast, reliable healthcare. They are prepared to give patients what they need when they need it.