PITTSTON — Geisinger CareWorks opened a new location on North Main Street last summer, and a new Urgent Care Clinic recently opened in the building.
The clinic, opened April 4, operates from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
The purpose of the clinic, according to Physician Assistant Jen Salvo, is to help those stricken with an illness or injury who need medical attention right away, another way of describing an acute medical condition.
“We’re here for acute care visits,” she said. “Colds, flus, sore throats, ear infections and we do sprains, strains, minor laceration repairs, back pain and all of those things that are acute. We don’t take care of any chronic issues here such as managing hypertension or diabetes — that’s all family doctor. We take a lot of overflow from family practice sites and try to keep people out of the emergency room as much as possible.”
Officials at the clinic also perform physicals for sports, driver’s licenses and work. Patients can either call ahead to make sure there are openings or just walk in.
Urgent Care staff includes Salvo as well as two nurses and Nurse Practitioner Laura Lunger. There are three exam rooms in the clinic.
The clinic accepts most insurances and those without insurance can pay with cash.
“There are some insurances that won’t participate with us, but we are still happy to see the patients,” Salvo said. “We alert them that they could get billed under being uninsured for an acute visit.”
Although the Urgent Care Clinic is there, Salvo said patients should continue to contact their primary doctor.
“That’s kind of hard to group together,” she said. “They are always advised to contact their family doctor first, but a lot of times they’re booked so far in advance they don’t have room for an acute visit and they spill over to us. That’s really what we’re here for — to ease the burden off family doctors.”
After patients are seen, clinic officials notify the patient’s family doctor.
Salvo said anywhere from 20 to 30 patients a day have been treated since the clinic opened and the amount of walk-ins will most likely increase over time.
“Sometimes we have 15 people waiting to be seen and my biggest thing is not the amount of people we’re seeing, but it’s their wait,” she said. “Sometimes we end up with an hour-plus wait and I think that’s probably the biggest anxiety driver. But, the more the merrier; it makes our day go by faster and we’re always happy to help.”