6 Steps to Take When Looking for an Urgent Care Facility

By  //  October 13, 2022

Have you ever been to the ER? It seems like the name is an oxymoron because you may be waiting there for hours, especially if your injury is non-life threatening. People have come to accept that they won’t get the care they need from emergency rooms.

But there are other alternatives, like an urgent care facility. These practices make it easier for people with specific health issues to get seen. If you’ve never been to one before, there are a few steps you should take before visiting one.

1. Find the Right One for Your Needs

Finding the right center for your needs is one of the first steps when deciding on an urgent care facility. Depending on your issue, you’ll need to find a place that caters specifically to that need. Otherwise, you can visit a site like urgent care Philadelphia, which will treat most non-life-threatening issues.

Also, you’ll have to find out if the health care service takes your insurance plan. If they do, it can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs. For example, the beauty of a clinic like urgent care Philadelphia is they take most insurance providers. But even if you don’t have insurance, you will still get seen, and prices are affordable enough, so you’re not breaking the bank.

Another component you’ll need to consider is the facility’s location. It would help if you didn’t stray too far from your home; familiarizing yourself with a local service like urgent care Philadelphia will improve your overall experience.

2. Check if An Appointment is Necessary

Most urgent care facilities accept walk-ins, meaning you don’t need an appointment to get seen. The only problem is your wait time could vary; you could get seen in 10 minutes or wait over an hour. On the other hand, there are clinics like urgent care Philadelphia which also use an appointment system.

Other health care providers allow you to check in online, which can reserve your spot. Visit their website to see if the option is available. Although it’s not an appointment slot, it can reduce your wait time and help you get seen quicker.

3. Know What Documents You’ll Need

The difference between health services like urgent care Philadephia and a doctor’s office is record keeping. Urgent care facilities don’t keep extensive records, so you’ll need to bring the necessary information to the clinic. Some items to include are:

Your health insurance information, if you have any

Records of any vaccinations

Past medical diagnoses

Your doctor’s office information

Since there’s no preexisting relationship between you and this clinic, ensure to bring your ID to complete the verification process. Also, don’t forget that you’ll be responsible for payments and copays at the time of your appointment, so make sure you’re ready.

4. Figure Out the Best Time to Go

Most urgent care facilities are open for a particular time, and you can visit them during regular operating hours. However, wait times can vary, especially at night, on weekends, or when doctor’s officers are closed during the holidays. So you may have more people waiting ahead of you.

If you’re considering going to an urgent care facility, try calling ahead to get an estimate of the wait times. It may not be much, but it can help you gauge which clinic would be best to attend. Furthermore, it saves you a long wait time and allows you to get seen during relaxed periods.

5. Think About if You Need a Doctor

Before heading to an urgent care clinic, there’s one thing you need to know; the person treating you might not be a doctor. Don’t worry; doctors are on staff. However, there are qualified nurses and physician assistants that can diagnose and treat issues you may be facing.

No matter who you see, you will get the necessary treatment. Furthermore, the staff will recommend that you follow up with your doctor if you have one.

6. Don’t Go With Life-Threatening Issues

Urgent care facilities are limited in the treatments they can offer. That’s why they specialize in non-life-threatening issues such as:


The flu

Bodily sprains

Stomach discomforts

Allergic reactions


Certain respiratory issues

But if you think your issue is more severe than what an urgent care facility can handle, it would be best to go to the emergency room. They would be better equipped to deal with health scares that could impact your life.

Consider These Steps Before Visiting an Urgent Care Facility

Urgent care facilities are an excellent alternative to the emergency room. Review the steps above if you’ve never been to one of these clinics. It’ll help you determine if your issue would be better handled there or in the emergency room.