If you haven’t been to CVS Pharmacy in Ruckersville lately, you might be surprised. Upon entering, new carpeting and lighted signage lead to a waiting area and two exam rooms at the back of the store, where you can walk in or make an appointment to be seen by one of the two new nurse practitioners.
The Minute Clinic, as the practice is called, is an urgent care center and works with almost all insurers. Drop-in visits or appointments are accepted for urgent issues as well as school sports physicals, vaccinations, COVID-19 tests and more, which is especially helpful in easing the burden of pharmacists (who have spent the past two years doing COVID tests every weekday at the drive-thru counter) and doctors’ offices and hospitals, which have been overwhelmed throughout the pandemic.
“There’s the Greene Free Clinic and the Greene Family Medicine, and I’m sure with those two places the volume of their health care needs has increased over the years,” said Kelsey Morris, a graduate of William Monroe and nurse practitioner for the Ruckersville Minute Clinic. since January 2022. “It’s more or less an extra arm or helper to help with that extra patient load; we can cover sickness visits or injury visits…so that for really big chronic issues, primary care providers can actually get appointments for their patients.
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Morris took nursing courses (CNA) at the Greene County Technical Education Center while in high school and is excited to return to work in her hometown.
“After I graduated, I did a bit of volunteering with the Stanardsville Fire Department, helping with their medical calls,” she said. “I went to Shenandoah University to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then worked back and forth at both UVA and Sentara Martha Jefferson (Emergency Rooms) since 2016.”
In 2016, Morris decided she wanted to give even more and returned to school to get her FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) certification. She spent a year working at an urgent care center in Harrisonburg before joining Minute Clinic in Ruckersville full-time.
“I love it; the reason I went back to school to do all of this is because I know I can offer so much more to the community,” she said. better seeing everyone around you being healthier…and that’s why I’m here.”
The Minute Clinic is not a new idea. Through partnerships with outside agencies, CVS decided it could offer Minute Clinic services and has been building health centers since 2006, with more than 1,200 sites nationwide to date.
“The Health Hub is a part of the clinic that does things like health screenings, smoking cessation counseling and stuff like that,” Morris said. “And then the Minute Clinic does a lot of urgent care visits. We don’t have x-ray machines, but sore throats, earaches, routine vaccinations, screening tests that people would need, like TB screening, we have a wide variety of testing options here. »
And yes, they also do the COVID tests. Rapid tests are available which give a positive or negative result in as little as 12 minutes, but tests for influenza, strep throat, RSV and pneumonia are also readily available. According to Morris, the pharmacy staff have a great working relationship with the new clinic and are always available to answer questions. A small, private meeting room adjacent to the pharmacy counter is available for administering vaccines or for patients to ask the pharmacist sensitive questions about medications they prefer not to discuss at the counter.
“The good thing about the Minute Clinic is that it’s a lot cheaper than an ER visit, that’s for sure,” Morris said. “We accept almost all insurances. If not, we have an online fee schedule that will give (patients) a general estimate and then each test will add to their visit.
A short list of services available to Minute Clinic practitioners includes:
diagnose and treat common illnesses such as strep throat, bladder infections and pink eye, as well as ear, nose and throat infections;
treat minor wounds, abrasions, joint sprains and skin conditions such as poison ivy, ringworm, lice and acne;
provide vaccines for influenza, measles, meningitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, hepatitis and more;
administering TB tests, vitamin B12 injections (Rx required) and screenings, as well as issuing medication refills;
monitor chronic diseases, including diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension;
offering routine laboratory tests, often with instant results, as well as education for people with diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension;
write prescriptions when medically appropriate;
treat adults and children 18 months and older;
and share records with your primary care provider, with your permission.
The full list of services is available at minuteclinic.com and telehealth services allow remote practitioners to see patients at any time of the day.
“Another important thing for children is to offer school and sports physical lessons,” added Patrick Seidl, Minute Clinic public relations supervisor. “Sometimes it’s hard to get an appointment for these, but they can be booked at Minute Clinic and scheduled pretty quickly.”
The clinic is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (closed for lunch from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.); Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (closed for lunch 1 p.m. to 1.30 p.m.); and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed for lunch 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.). To make an appointment, go minuteclinic.comdownload the Minute Clinic app or walk in and enter your information at the self-service kiosk in the waiting room.