My family uses CVS for almost all of our pharmaceutical needs, but I didn’t realize that the CVS on the other side of town actually houses a Minute Clinic. Honestly, I never even thought about it. And then, in early October, CVS asked me if I’d like to try getting a flu shot at the Minute Clinic at their expense. I believe in getting a flu shot when I can (in fact, I got mine at our local CVS last year), so I agreed.
When they originally asked me, I was (so I thought) recovering a from a cold, but I had plenty of time to get the shot and so I put it out of my mind. And then I got sicker… and sicker. I had a cough that was keeping me up at night and wearing me out during the day. A friend mentioned that she’d been hearing about a lot of cases of pneumonia, so I decided I needed to get things checked out. The problem? I hadn’t been to my doctor in ages and it’s actually just far enough away that it’s a pain to get to. That’s when the Minute Clinic popped into my mind. I looked them up and, sure enough, they can handle medical issues like the flu, bronchitis, allergies, immunizations and even a physical.
I have to admit that getting seen in the Minute Clinic was challenging to the point of being humorous. It wasn’t their fault exactly, but just a string of events beyond any of our control. The first day I went, the clinic was closed due to a power outage earlier that day. The next day, I dragged Bug along, only to wait an hour and have to leave to make it to another commitment. On the third day, I finally saw the physician assistant. She was incredibly nice, listened to my lungs, took my temperature, and checked my oxygen levels. Unfortunately, she was also concerned about pneumonia, which they can’t diagnose at the clinic. It requires an X-Ray. Off I went to the urgent care clinic where I was diagnosed with asthmatic bronchitis and given a handful of prescriptions (back to CVS!).
The PA who saw me called to follow-up over the weekend to make sure I had gotten treatment. Of course, I had forgotten to tell her that we were planning on going out of town over the weekend. By the end of the weekend, her messages sounded like she was convinced that I was dead on the side of the road somewhere. I appreciated her concern, though. Even my own doctor doesn’t bother to do that.
I ended up back at the Minute Clinic a week or so later when I wasn’t feeling any better. They still didn’t want to give me the flu shot because I was feeling so bad, and they weren’t able to give me follow-up meds, which I expected. I did manage to leave a message for my original PA that I was still alive, although also still sick.
My coupon for a flu shot at the Minute Clinic expired last week and I was still not feeling well enough to want to add on flu symptoms. It’s fine because our insurance will cover the shot regardless. I’ll just go back in the next few weeks. But I did want to share with you (and emphasize the point) that the Minute Clinic is there for a variety of symptoms and it’s a great option when you can’t make an appointment with your own doctor for whatever reason. It’s also handy when your child spikes a crazy fever just after the doctor’s office closes. Our Minute Clinic is open til 7pm, and on weekends.
I do have some tips for using the CVS Minute Clinic:
- Don’t forget to sign in at the kiosk when you arrive. They take patients on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Try to visit in the mid morning or early afternoon when it’s likely to be less crowded. Lunch and after 4pm were busier.
- Keep in mind that a consultation can easily take 20 minutes or more. If you’re the third person in line, that can add up.
- I found the CVS Minute Clinic to be the least expensive option over the regular walk-in clinic and the urgent care clinic in my area. Compare prices in your area.
- Don’t bring an emergency to the Minute Clinic, unless perhaps you’re standing in the store already!
- Check out their website to see the types of services they provide. That way, you’ll have them in mind when you’re in need of medical care. Great for strep tests, rashes, and ear infections!