It is possible that you will see a nurse practitioner while at an urgent care center. In many states, nurse practitioners are able to treat patients and prescribe medications at urgent care centers without involvement from a doctor, or if they do require oversight, the physician can do so remotely.
It is Possible You'll See a Nurse Practitioner
Depending on the urgent care center, you may see a nurse practitioner instead of an urgent care doctor. There are a few things that can determine this. First, the staffing composition of the clinic. Doctors are more expensive to employ and if the same treatment can be provided by a nurse practitioner, that is many times preferred. Even if an urgent care employs doctors, they may not be scheduled all the time and have nurse practitioners see patients during slower periods. Second, the policies of the facility may govern the types of patients or cases a doctor sees vs. nurse practitioner. For instance, r facilities have patients with more common or less severe conditions see a nurse practitioner. Finally, it may also depend on your preferences.
Check With the Front Desk
If you specifically would prefer to see a nurse practitioner, it's a good idea to let the front desk know this when you check in. They will be able to let you know if this is possible or not. In some cases, it may not be a possibility due to staffing and how busy the center is at the time.
Is it Worth Seeing a Nurse Practitioner?
Currently 18 states, as well as the District of Columbia, allow nurse practitioners to prescribe medications and treat patients without having to have involvement from a doctor at all. Because of this, a nurse practitioner can treat you and ensures that you're getting the care that you need in the same manner that a medical doctor would. In the remaining states, nurse practitioners can do varying levels of care and prescribing medication, though they may need oversight of a doctor either on-site or through remote relationships.
Who Else Will I See?
While you're at the urgent care facility, you may see a variety of medical professionals. Even if you primarily work with a nurse practitioner, you may see a doctor while you are there. On top of that, you'll probably see a nurse, as well as lab technicians. Depending on the condition you come into the urgent care for, you'll see a variety of people while you are there.