If It’s Urgent Care, Why Do I Have To Wait?

Urgent care wait times

We all hate to wait.  Whether it is for a bus, the end of the school day or the line to buy a movie ticket, waiting can be annoying.  When your child is sick, has a fever, or has an injury such as a cut or possible broken bone, you want your child cared for as quickly as possible. So do we!  We cannot always see your child immediately, but our goal is to see your child and care for him or her in a timely fashion.

At any given time an Urgent Care Location may be crowded and hectic or quiet with only one or two families seeking care. Because we cannot predict hourly or daily increases or decreases in demand for our urgent care services, we prepare as well as we can by staffing for a mid-to-high number of patients. That means that the majority of the time, our wait time to see a physician or Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) is less than 30 minutes. However, if 10 families arrive at once, the tenth family may have a long wait. Another factor is how sick the children are who are here to be seen. While we are NOT an emergency room, sometimes families seek care at our facility for problems that require immediate attention and then transfer. This can stop all other care for a short time while the life threatening situation is addressed. When this situation arises, it can add to everyone else’s wait time. We do our best to inform the patients waiting so that they’re aware of how it may affect them.

Knowing there may be a wait and even more importantly, knowing about what that wait time is can help families make a decision about when and where to get care. You can check all of our current urgent care wait times, so you can head to urgent care prepared. You can also schedule arrival times at Anderson, Green Township and Mason. By doing so, you can do the majority of your waiting comfortably at home. Find links to each location’s scheduling tool about half way down on this page.

Prior to coming to an Urgent Care, please give pain or fever medication at home, and apply first aid measures for injuries to make any wait a bit more comfortable.

Just a reminder, as an Urgent Care, we are not equipped to treat life-threatening emergencies.  For more information on when families should take their children to an urgent care versus an emergency room, read a previous blog post.

We will always do our best to shorten wait times and care for each and every patient as if they were our own.  Sometimes we won’t have any wait; sometimes it can be as long as 90 minutes.  Please use our hotline, text for wait times or website, be prepared in case there is a wait, and know that our goal will always be to see each child as soon as reasonably possible.

Dr. Peg Orcutt

About the Author: Dr. Peg Orcutt

Dr. Orcutt is an Urgent Care physician at Cincinnati Children’s. Dr. Orcutt is board certified in both pediatrics and emergency medicine. She is also a Fellow and immediate past president of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Emergency Physicians. The first part of her career was spent in the Naval Medical Corps. where she served 28 years, retiring with the rank of Captain. She has been at Cincinnati Children’s for more than 10 years and her commitment to clinical excellence and dedication to efficiency and patient safety are hallmarks of her approach to medicine.

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