Walk-in clinics are a rather recent phenomena on the health-care scene. They typically offer a variety of medical services to the community at reasonable prices. Here is a look at some of the key facts about these important healthcare facilities that everyone should know.
Walk-in clinics have several important benefits compared to visits to the office of a primary care doctor. For example, many walk-in clinics are open later than the typical doctor's office, so you can often obtain treatment at a walk-in clinic when the doctor's office is closed. Also, if you are new in town or not have a personal physician for some reason, going to a walk-in clinic without having to make an appointment is very convenient.
Another important benefit is that the cost of care at walk-in clinic is likely to be considerably less then if you go to an emergency room.
What they Treat
These facilities treat a wide range of non life-threatening conditions that do not require any type of emergency treatment. This includes cuts and lacerations, sprains, bruises, colds and flu symptoms, coughs, sore throats, and allergy issues. Headaches, fevers, and insect stings are typically treated as well.
Although walk-in clinics treat many conditions, they are not recommend for the most serious issues. If you have a serious injury or illness or as potentially life-threatening problem, such as severe chest pains, severe burns, uncontrolled bleeding or symptoms of a stroke, you need to go to an emergency room as soon as possible.
The staff at the facility will almost certainly consist of at least one qualified physician. More than one physician might practice at the site depending on the size of the of the clinic. In addition to a physician, the clinic will likely have physician's assistants and nurse practitioners on-site as well. In some instances, you might see the doctor, in others you might see either a physician's assistant or a nurse practitioner, depending on the reason for your visit and the doctor's availability.
Walk-in clinics generally accept cash in major credit cards in addition to insurance. Your insurance may or may not pay for all of the services offered by the clinic, so make sure you check with your insurance company before your visit.
To prepare for your visit, make a list of all the medications you are currently taking as well as a list of any medications you are allergic to. Also, bring your identification with you and any current medical records if you have them.
For more information, contact a local walk-in clinic.