Urgent Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What symptoms and conditions are treated at an urgent care?
Lifespan Urgent Care centers are available to treat non-emergency conditions in children 18 months and older and all adults.
Visit the urgent care clinic for:
- Colds and flu
- Earaches and sinus infections
- Fractures and sprains
- Animal or insect bites
- Stomach upset and diarrhea
- Minor burns
- Urinary tract infections
- Strep Throat
- Conjunctivitis (“pink eye”)
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease
We also offer seasonal flu and tetanus shots, as well as sports physicals.
If your symptom(s) are in the list above, visit Lifespan Urgent Care now or make an appointment online. If they are not listed above, you may need to call 911 or visit your local hospital's emergency department instead.
What conditions are better evaluated at an emergency room?
Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department for potentially life-threatening conditions. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or an ambulance.
Go to the emergency department for:
- Trouble breathing
- Stroke symptoms
- Heart attack symptoms
- Severe abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Heavy bleeding
- Any other potentially life-threatening condition
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident or on the job, go directly to the emergency department. Learn more about when to call 911
While it is wise to be cautious about the coronavirus, please don’t ignore your symptoms of serious illness. For some conditions, timely treatment is vital.
What should I bring with me?
When you come to Lifespan Urgent Care, please be sure to bring:
- Driver’s license or photo ID that shows your birth date. Note: This must be a hard copy of a license, ID card or passport. We cannot accept pictures on your cell phone as identification.
- Health Insurance card. Note: If you are not the subscriber of the insurance covering your services, we will need the date of birth and Social Security number of the policy holder.
- Cash or credit card for insurance co-pay or out-of-pocket payment
- A list of medications you are taking, as well as allergies and past surgeries
- Parental authorization form (for a minor without a parent or guardian present)
If your information has changed since your last visit, please let our team members know so that we can update our records.
Treatment of a Minor
Patients who are 16 to 18 years old can be seen without a parent or legally responsible guardian. The guarantor, whether it is a parent, legal guardian or the patient, is financially responsible for any copay and co-insurance at the time of the visit.
If the patient is under 16 years of age, the parent or legal guardian must complete all registration forms. The parent or legal guardian of a minor is financially responsible for payment at the time of service, as well as obtaining any required referrals and providing insurance and picture ID cards. Minors must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian.
Can I make an appointment?
How long can I expect to wait?
We know it is hard to wait, especially when you are not feeling well. We have been experiencing longer than usual wait times due to a high number of people seeking care. We have an information board showing the status of all patients in the center to help anticipate your wait time. We will also provide updates as often as possible.
Please understand that, based on the severity of symptoms, someone who arrives after you may be taken into an exam room before you.
When you are seen, we will spend all the time you need to address your most pressing concern.
When does the urgent care close?
Walk-in Clinic Hours
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Last patient registration at 7:15 p.m.)
Saturday, Sunday, and some holidays
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Last patient registration at 5:15 p.m.)
Johnston location hours only: Seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(All locations closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas)
No appointment is needed, but if you would like, you can reserve a time.
Who will I see today?
Our multi-disciplinary team of highly skilled providers look forward to caring for you. Today, you will see a physician, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant – all are members of the Urgent Care clinical team. Under the medical leadership of Dr. Olivier Gherardi, our team of expert clinicians work collaboratively to see all patients efficiently and provide an outstanding quality of care.
Can I eat or drink while I wait?
A small glass of water is okay. However, to accurately assess your symptoms and in the chance that you may need testing, we ask that you wait to have anything to eat until after you are seen.
What type of testing is available on site?
We have a laboratory for blood, urine, and stool testing. We perform EKGs, x-rays, and do on-site rapid testing for glucose, strep, flu, mono, COVID, RSV, bacterial vaginosis, and pregnancy.
How do I get my test results?
We provide rapid on-site test results before you leave. For tests that are sent to the lab, a member of our care team will call you with abnormal test results only.
We encourage you to sign up for the MyLifespan patient portal. You can often access your test results here first since results are posted on your portal as soon as they are available. To sign up for the patient portal, go to www.lifespan.org/mylifespan.
If you haven't already enrolled in MyLifespan, enrolling before you go to Lifespan Urgent Care will mean you're already in our system.
Will I be given a prescription for an antibiotic?
When you’re not feeling well, it is easy to want a “quick fix” to make the symptoms go away, but often an antibiotic is not the answer. Antibiotics kill specific types of bacteria and, when used correctly, are effective in curing an infection. Antibiotics do NOT kill viruses.
When antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately, not only are they not treating your viral symptoms, but bacteria in your body can develop a resistance to these medications, making the antibiotic ineffective in the future when you really need it. Antibiotics can cause serious side effects in certain people, as well.
For these reasons, your health care provider will be very cautious about prescribing an antibiotic. You may have been given an antibiotic in the past and thought this cured your symptoms, but often it was not the antibiotic at all, the symptoms of your virus ran their course and resolved on their own. Be open to over-the-counter remedies that may help relieve your symptoms.
Viruses happen. They are not fun and will make you feel miserable for a while, but if your health care provider feels an antibiotic is not necessary, understand that this is because we have your best interest and health in mind.
Will I be given a prescription for a narcotic pain medicine?
The use of controlled or monitored medications is only one part of pain treatment. These medications can be very useful but can also cause serious problems and are not always effective in the treatment of pain. We may prescribe a short course of a narcotic pain medication for you if indicated. However, we will not refill a controlled substance prescribed by another provider.
Can I be given Paxlovid in urgent care if I test positive for COVID?
We administer some medications in urgent care, but we do not dispense medications. We can prescribe Paxlovid if indicated.
Will you give me a referral to a specialist if needed?
It is the patient’s responsibility to contact their primary care provider for any required referrals and/or comply with their insurance carrier’s policy regarding authorizations for urgent care services. The patient is responsible for any services denied for no referral or authorization.
How do I know if my insurance will cover this visit?
It is always best to call the telephone number on the back side of your insurance card prior to being seen to understand your responsibility for any co-payment and/or deductible.
Most insurance plans require that you make a co-payment at the time you receive medical services. Typically, you may be responsible for any unpaid amount not satisfied by your insurance plan in addition to your co-payment.
Lifespan Urgent Care offers a discount for paying at the time of service. Alternately, we are able to bill your insurance company on your behalf. Lifespan is dedicated to making the billing process as easy and transparent as possible. On your behalf, we will verify your coverage and bill your insurance company directly for the services we provide. Learn more about our payment options here (LINK).
If you are a self-pay patient, Lifespan Urgent Care offers a tiered-level rate approach based on medical necessity to cover self-pay services, as well as a discount for payments made at the time of service.
Please Note: Our office can discuss only billing information on an account for a patient 18 years of age and older. Medical information cannot be shared with parents or guardians, even if they are financially responsible.