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VCU Health Urgent Care in Tappahannock Moves to Same Day Appointment Scheduling

VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital

To improve patient experience and help manage the flow of patients during a busy season, VCU Health Urgent Care at Tappahannock will now offer same-day appointment scheduling, effective February 27. Patients are encouraged to call the Urgent Care during operating hours at (804) 443-8610 between 9 am and 6 pm, seven days a week to schedule a time to be seen. Walk in appointments will continue to be available but scheduling in advance will allow for less waiting time.

“We have seen a significant increase in patient volume in recent months due to flu and COVID as well as other common illnesses,” explains Dr. Lisa Dodd. “We are implementing this new process to try and better manage patient flow and reduce wait times while still being able to accommodate the same number of patients each day.”

Currently, the office may open with as many as 10-15 patients in the parking lot waiting to be seen. As such, the VCU Health Urgent Care in Tappahannock has seen wait times as high as 3-5 hours in recent weeks. For patients who have to wait on-site, that can be very uncomfortable and dissatisfying.

With the new call ahead process, patients will be assigned an appointment time and can rest in the comfort of their homes and arrive closer to their allotted time slot to minimize waiting.

“Being sick is never pleasant and an extended wait time while sitting in a waiting room for your care is never ideal,” Dr. Dodd adds. “Our main reason for this change is to help space patients throughout the day in a more manageable fashion, which we believe will improve their overall experience.

It is always recommended to establish a relationship with a primary care provider (PCP) to manage preventive care and chronic conditions. Your PCP can also help when referrals are needed for specialty care like cardiology or orthopaedics.

Urgent vs. Emergency Care

There are a few key differences between urgent care and the emergency care. Urgent care is for injuries or illnesses that are not life-threatening. The emergency room, on the other hand, is for serious issues that may be considered a medical emergency.

Urgent Care centers are equipped to handle a variety of illnesses and injuries, including allergies, broken bones, COVID/flu testing, ear infections, minor burns or wounds, sinus infections, strep throat and/or vomiting/nausea.

The emergency room is your best bet if you or a loved one are experiencing signs or symptoms of a life-threatening condition, such as sudden or severe shortness of breath, chest pain, excessive bleeding, loss of consciousness, concussions or head injuries, and/or a sudden, severe headache. If you suspect a heart attack or stroke, it is best to call 911 immediately.