Having a cold right now is difficult, to say the least. Medical providers are scrambling to provide the resources and beds necessary to treat people with the coronavirus, which could make it considerably harder for you to get help when you have something like a simple upper respiratory infection. However, that doesn't mean that you're out of luck. If you don't know where to turn for help, this is why you should seek out an urgent care facility.
What They're There For
Urgent care facilities are often misunderstood by people as to exactly what services they provide. Despite the name, urgent care facilities aren't there for problems like broken limbs or heart attacks. Instead, urgent care facilities are designed for people who have a pressing issue but typically can't get in to see their normal physicians. This is often the case during a major outbreak of a virus, like the coronavirus. So if you haven't been able to see your regular doctor, it's better to visit the urgent care facility than the emergency room. Now more than ever, the emergency room is going to be flooded with people who are seriously sick. It will not only take longer to be seen at an emergency room, but you could be exposed to something more dangerous than what you already have.
What to Expect
If you've never been to an urgent care facility before, this is what you can expect from the experience.
The vast majority of urgent care providers, given the nature of their business, allow same-day and walk-in appointments. But it's best to call yours in advance just to make sure that's the case. So start with a phone call, or check their website to find out more.
Next, come on in. Head in to the urgent care office and talk to the receptionist. They'll likely have some paperwork for you to fill out. If you have one, make sure to bring your insurance card; they'll want to take a copy of it for their records and reimbursement. The paperwork will just ask you some basic information on your health, age, and why you're asking to be seen today. Fill out as much of it as you can and be honest throughout.
After your paperwork is turned in, you'll join the queue of people who are waiting to be seen. When it's your turn, a doctor or medical assistant will call your name and you'll be taken to a screening room. This is your time to explain any symptoms and problems you've been having.
For a basic cold or upper respiratory virus, your urgent care provider will likely examine your nose, ears, and throat. They may ask you to cough, and they'll listen to your lungs and heart. If it seems like you just have a basic virus, they'll provide you with medication to help control any fever that you may be having and potentially provide antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection.
That's it! Your first urgent care appointment will be complete, and you'll be on the road to recovery. For more information, speak with the staff at an urgent care clinic like West Ocean City Injury & Illness Center.