When you really need urgent care, the last place you’d want to go is to a local urgent care center right next to your house. Such a tiresome waste of time, especially when you know full well you should be at home. Instead, you’d prefer to locate an urgent care facility that’s even closer to where you are. In some cases “open now” isn’t necessarily always better than “open later”.
There are three primary locations for urgent care centers in my home town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The first is the local Sioux Falls emergency room, which is open twenty-four hours a day. I’ve used this location three times in the past week and each time was very calm and courteous. The staff was knowledgeable and helpful and gave excellent treatment despite the fact that the patient was experiencing some coughing. And they had to take a few extra minutes to treat my kids younger brother who fell ill while they were supposed to be at home with their grandparents.
My second location for immediate help is the nearest urgent care center to my home, which is located in the immediate proximity of my apartment. I went to the closest on Thursday afternoon after work and paid whatever balance was due (they don’t bill by the hour) and left a message for the center asking what their fees are and whether or not they treat patients for non-life threatening emergencies. A male voice answered the phone and told me there were no services available that evening. I asked who was speaking to me and was told by the same voice to keep calling. I left a message for the next day and returned to the office to collect my payment. I’m still waiting for non-life threatening services to be available from this particular urgent care center.
There are many other urgent care centers in the city and surrounding areas that do not appear to be properly staffed. It appears that some of them only have two or three medical assistants, but they claim to have a full staff of physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners on hand. I was told that the physician and nurse practitioner visits that my family has undergone have been covered under their preferred plan, but it was unclear whether or not this includes emergency care or the hospital. I asked if the family’s rates would be taken into consideration and was told that they would be.
I was also told that my immediate need would be for a doctor’s appointment due to a cold sore that has been running on my neck. I know that I am required by my primary care provider to receive flu shots every year, but I was unaware that my urgent care centers even offer this benefit. I was surprised to learn that this is an available option at these locations.
When I went to the urgent care center to pick up the flu shot and was informed that I had already received one, I felt very happy. As I walked in the waiting area, I noticed that there were no wait times and that everyone seemed very professional. The receptionist was very pleasant and greeted me by name. After completing my inquiry about their flu shots and scheduling a convenient time to come in, I was ready to head back home. I knew that I had made the right decision because the staff was so understanding and friendly. I left the urgent care center feeling very happy about my health and the protection that it afforded me against a serious illness.
The next day, as I sat down to lunch, I was informed that my primary care physician was out of town on vacation. He would be back on a week-long leave of absence. Immediately, I called the urgent care center and asked if they had received any information from his office. I was informed that they had been carrying out routine maintenance over the past several months and that they would probably have given me a prescription for Fluconazole that afternoon.
After leaving the urgent care centers, I visited the primary care physician’s office and was very impressed with the atmosphere that he presented to me when I met him. I was able to tell right away that he was passionate about his job and wanted to make it better for the patients that he saw on a daily basis. He was very open and answered all of my questions thoroughly. I am so glad that I went to one of these Urgent Care Centers. It has meant so much to me since I received my flu shot at the urgent care centers and it allowed me to feel that I wasn’t out of danger and in need of medication for the flu.