Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pharmacy Clinics Could be Useful Tool for Young People

I'm sitting in a CVS waiting for the nurse at the Minute Clinic to call me back. As I sauntered towards the back of the store where the clinic office is, I realized that no one could tell what I came into the store for. I could be here for toothpaste, lipstick, gum, or some Carolina swag for my car to celebrate the kick-off to college football (which I may have to pick up before I leave). But I'm here for a medical reason.
To sign in at the Minute Clinic, I don't have to talk to anyone. I answer a few questions on a computer screen, agree to complete a survey via e-mail following my visit (our Evaluation Department is rubbing off on me!), and the screen tells me how long I may have to wait before the nurse calls for me. Fortunately, it’s less than 20 minutes. But I’m free to browse the store while I wait anyway. Or work on this blog entry on the trusty Blackberry.

I've been to this clinic before - the joy of annually acquiring bronchitis or tonsilitis or some other cold and flu type illness. I come here because I can get in and out quickly, don't have to wait for ages in a packed waiting room where I am convinced I will contract five other illnesses before the nurse calls me, I meet with a very personable APRN who has the time to really sit and talk to me, and I can pick up any prescription or meds I need before I leave the store. It’s a definite one-stop shop. My entire visit today took less than an hour – including wait time, time with the nurse, and waiting for the prescription. The visit was also relatively inexpensive and can be filed with insurance.

Naturally, I asked the nurse about incorporating family planning services into the Minute Clinic. Young people can enter CVS without anyone knowing they’re going in to get on birth control. Services are confidential. Wait time is minimal. Interaction with only the nurse makes it easier to guarantee teen-friendliness from staff.

What an ideal place for a female to go get her Depo-Provera shot or switch methods if she’s having trouble! I was thrilled to hear that CVS and the Minute Clinics are considering expanding services to do just that. Now we just need to show them our support so they’ll decide to do more than consider it, and we’ll have a whole new way for young people to access these much-needed services.

In the meantime, I encourage you to visit a CVS with a Minute Clinic to pick up some toothpaste, gum, or USC swag. And just imagine a whole new world opening up there for our youth!

- Dana Becker, M.Ed., is the Spartanburg Community Specialist for the SC Campaign. Contact Dana at  dbecker@teenpregnancysc.org.

1 comment:

  1. Well its December 20, 2012.. can you go to cvs and get on birth control now?