If you experience medical issues that requires immediate attention but is not life-threatening, you may wonder where to go. Your primary care physician may be the first thing that comes to mind, but you often have to wait a very long time before you are able to see them. This is why you should find out which walk in clinic has to offer is closest to you, so that you know where to go. However, you also have to make sure that the clinic is actually a good one. While looking for a doctor or hospital, keep in mind that these are decisions you must make. Make sure you feel comfortable with your decisions. Finding a doctor and a hospital that you like, and meeting your needs will help you to have the best treatment possible. Think about what type of doctor and what type of care will work best for you. Before you choose, meet with a few doctors to see how you get along with them. You want to choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 things to look for in an excellent clinic.
- Qualified Physicians
In many cases, when you visit an urgent care facility, you will be seen not by a physician, but rather by a nurse practitioner. In principle, there is nothing wrong with this, as nurse practitioners are educated to graduate level, and they may, depending on where you live, even be able to prescribe medication. However, you do need to make sure that board certified physicians are also present in the clinic, so that the nurse practitioner has a health care physician to turn to should they struggle to diagnose or treat appropriately.
Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, a lot of people think that they can just go to any health care provider and be covered. This is not true, however. Rather, you often have to make sure that a certain clinic is within the network of providers recognized by your insurance company. The walk in clinic itself should list which insurance companies they are affiliated with, and this is certainly something to check if you want to avoid high out of pocket expenses. Do also double check with your insurance company, just to be on the safe side.
- Waiting Times
Walk in clinics are medical facilities where anybody can go to without an appointment. This means that, as with hospitals, they use a triage system in terms of who they will see first. This is fair, as you wouldn’t expect someone with a suspected heart attack to have to wait until someone with a bruised finger has been seen to. However, facilities also have to be realistic about their capabilities and how much work they can take on. They should, therefore, have a maximum waiting time clearly listed somewhere. This can give people the opportunity to decide to go elsewhere should they feel that it is too long to wait. Are you curious about what current and past patients think about the professional you plan to choose as your family doctor? Do a general search online and you will find plenty of comments from real people who will tell you everything about your personal experiences, even about the office environment, doctor availability, style of care, your good deeds and mistakes.
These are the three main things to look into if you want to receive care from a walk in clinic. Remember, however, that if your injury or illness may be life threatening, then you should go straight to the emergency room, or phone 911 for emergency assistance. Walk in clinics are for those people who need to be seen very quickly, but who are not at risk of losing their life as a result of what is ailing them.