The urgent care center (UCC) is an area that you go to for the treatment of injuries and minor trauma. It’s usually found inside larger hospitals and is an area of work for a wide range of medical staff.
UCCs provide a wide range of treatments for minor ailments and can offer pain relief to patients until they can see a specialist, if necessary. They’re an ideal place to go for treatments out of traditional business hours when most primary care services are closed.
Many people get confused between the emergency room (ER) and the urgent care center. However, unlike the ER, the UCC is concerned with non-life-threatening conditions.
Here are some important things to know before you head to your nearest urgent care center.
Find the Right Center
Although the main goal of every UCC is to provide minor treatments for every patient who comes through the door. However, each UCC is unique and it’s important to find the right one for your needs.
Some UCCs specialize in certain areas of medicine. For example, a center might focus on the treatment of fractures and sprains(orthopedics) or on treating children (pediatrics).
Depending on the level of health insurance coverage that you have, you might only be able to use certain UCCs in the country. Be sure to check if a facility is covered by your plan before you head there.
Bring the Essentials
When you head to the UCC, there are a few things that you will need to bring with you.
Firstly, you will need to bring a set of your recent medical records if you have them. Doing so will enable the medical professionals in the center to know your medical history, which medications you’re currently, and if there are any allergies that they need to know about.
You will also need to bring along your health insurance documents and a printout of your vaccination history if you have one. Make sure you have the details of the primary care center where you’re registered and the name of your family doctor.
Some urgent care centers ask for ID and may want you to pay for some of your treatment before you leave the facility, so make sure to bring along your bank card too.
Don’t Expect to See a Doctor
Just because you go to the UCC, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will end up seeing a doctor. When you first arrive, you will be triaged and the severity of your condition will be determined.
You might be seen by a doctor but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, a nurse or physician’s assistant might see you. There are many different employees with all kinds of job titles in the UCC, all of which are qualified to diagnose and treat a range of conditions.
It’s important to remember that every UCC employee is an expert at what they do and they will do their best to treat your condition and restore your full health, regardless of their job title.