Urgent Care availability expanded at Veterans Memorial Hospital

Urgent Care services at Veterans Memorial Hospital were expanded beginning Monday, October 4, for better accessibility for all patients. Now one medical provider is dedicated to just seeing the Urgent Care patients while another emergency provider is dedicated to the emergency room patients. This will greatly lessen the wait times for those seeking Urgent Care.

Veterans Memorial Hospital began offering Urgent Care two years ago. The need for Urgent Care has greatly grown since last spring and many patients have experienced long wait times when the emergency department was also busy with patients. Now Urgent Care will have its own clinical space near the main entrance of the hospital along with its own provider to more quickly triage the patients and cover their medical needs.

Urgent Care is offered every Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The Veterans Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic is available for patients to be seen during the daytime hours and always keeps a few openings in the schedule for acute patients who need to be seen that day. Urgent Care is convenient for those who wish to be seen after work hours and is designed for treating injuries or illnesses requiring immediate care, but not serious enough to require an emergency department visit.

Patients may enter through the main entrance of the hospital and ask for Urgent Care. A registered nurse will assess each patient and decide if Urgent Care or Emergency Room is the level of care they need.

Examples of what a patient may seek Urgent Care for could include back pain; bladder or urinary tract infection; cough; cuts, scrapes and bruises; diarrhea; fever, colds and flu; ear pain, swimmer’s ear, ear infection, or wax removal; insect or tick bite; joint pain; minor burn; nausea/vomiting; pink eye; rash; seasonal allergies; sinus and upper respiratory infection; sore or strep throat; strains/sprains; sudden back or neck pain; urinary problems or vaginal irritation/discharge. Most insurance does cover urgent care visits. Patients can usually expect to pay a copay or deductible for visits to Urgent Care treatment centers.

Emergency Care needs to be sought immediately for such things as chest pain or difficulty breathing, weakness, numbness on one side, slurred speech, fainting or change in mental state, serious burns, head or eye injury, fever with a rash, seizures, and concussion or confusion. Patients should enter through the emergency entrance of the hospital for these symptoms.

In either an Urgent Care or an Emergency Room visit, all patients should be prepared by bringing a list of all medications they take along with them. This includes vitamins and supplements, and should include how much of each is taken and how often. In addition, a list of allergies and past medical procedures or surgeries and when they occurred should be brought along as well.