Items to Bring with You
Please bring the necessary items below to your appointment. The first six items are "musts" for everyone. The remaining items may or may not be necessary, depending on your individual situation:
- Insurance Card (including the insurer's name and address; the patient's policy number, and the policy holder’s date of birth)
- Photo Identification (such as a driver's license or state photo ID)
- Cash, check, or major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express) to pay for co-payment or services not covered by insurance
- Primary Care Provider Information
- Written medical records including notes from previous orthopaedic providers, pathology slides from outside hospitals AND discs with all prior radiologic studies including x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Although orthopaedic practices often mail discs they frequently do not arrive in time for your visit. We suggest bringing a disc with all prior studies to your visit)
- Social Security Number
- Your employer's name, address, and phone number (if you are covered by traditional insurance or managed care (HMO or PPO) provided by that employer)
- Your spouse's employer's name, address, and phone number (if you are covered by traditional insurance or managed care (HMO or PPO) provided by your spouse's employer)
- Health Plan Referral Authorization (if required by your health insurance carrier)
- Medicare or Medicaid card, plus the date of your spouse's retirement (if this applies to you)
- Name, address, and phone number of your referring physician (if you were referred here)
- All current medications or a list of current medications, how much of each you take, and how often you take it.
- Allergies to medications or adverse reactions to medications
- Information related to an outstanding worker’s compensation or liability claim
Check Your Appointment Time / Location
Please check your appointment reminder card to verify your appointment location or log onto My UNC Chart:
On the Day of Your Visit
Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointments to give us enough time to check you into our computer system. If you have been informed that you need an x-ray, please arrive 30 minutes early.
If you need any special assistance when you arrive, please let our front desk staff know. We can provide the following services to assist you during your visit:
- Wheelchairs / Mobility Assistance
- Translation Services
If you are going to be more than 30 minutes late, please call our Appointment Center and let them know. We will still see you during the clinic session but you may have to wait to allow us to find a time to fit you into the schedule. If you cannot wait, we would be happy to reschedule your appointment to another day.
No Show List
Please let us know at least 24 hours in advance if you are not going to be able to make your appointment, we may be able to offer your appointment to another patient. If you do not call and miss your appointment you will be marked as a No Show and this may impact your future appointments.
What to Expect During Your Visit
Depending on the reason for your visit you might expect the following activities to occur during your visit:
X-Ray (for diagnosis, surgical planning or aftercare)
You may be required to change into a gown to enable us to perform the x-ray. It is recommended that you do not wear any articles of clothing or jewelry that contain metal. Make sure you let the x-ray technician know if you are or could be pregnant. See X-Ray FAQs
Injections (typically for pain, treatment of osteoarthritis, or to assist in wound healing)
An injection may be given for the treatment of pain or for non-surgical treatment of some conditions. Please check with your provider before they administer an injection, because some types of injections may not be covered by your insurance plan.
Our providers report suspected drug abusers to the North Carolina Controlled Substance Reporting System database.
Cast Removals or Applications
A cast will be removed or applied by one of our trained cast technicians. Casts are removed using a cast saw – this is a painless process. If you need a cast applied, it typically will not take longer than 20 minutes.
Brace or Splint Fitting
Braces or splints may need to be applied by an Orthotic Fitter. We have fitters at both or our locations. Make sure to check if your insurance covers your brace or orthotic device.
The duration of your visit will vary dependent on the type of visit and the complexity of your health issue, but the following are general guidelines to how long it typically takes to complete your visit:
Basic Visit Length
|Return Patient||15 – 30 minutes|
|New Patient Visit||45 - 60 minutes|
|Pediatric Patient Visit||30 – 90 minutes|
|+ X Ray||15 – 45 minutes|
|+ Cast Removal||10 – 20 minutes|
|+ Cast Application||20 – 30 minutes|
|+ Office Procedure||45 – 60 minutes|
For example, if you are Return Patient (30 minutes) having a Cast Removed (+ 20 minutes) and an X-ray (+ 45 minutes), please anticipate spending up to 95 minutes for your visit.
We offer free WIFI at both of our clinic locations:
Connect to: UNCH-Guest (no password required)
At the End of Your Visit
You should receive an After Visit Summary (AVS) at the end of your visit. If you are not given one, please ask your provider or nurse to give you a copy. If this is your first visit to UNC, or if you have not signed up for our patient portal, your My UNC Chart activation code should appear on your After Visit Summary. If you require follow-up care, please make sure you visit our front desk before you leave to make a follow-up appointment.
If I was notified prior to my appointment that I will need an x-ray, when should I plan to get that done?
X-ray services are performed at both of our clinic locations, and we recommend you arrive 30 minutes before your regularly scheduled appointment to allow time for your x-ray to be completed.
How is it determined that I need an x-ray, if my provider has not yet seen me?
Many conditions will require an x-ray before the provider can make a determination of the diagnosis and the extent of the injury or to verify fracture healing. To improve the efficiency of our clinic and to save you time, many of our patients will have an x-ray done before seeing the provider. Please be aware that an x-ray order is only submitted on the day that you arrive at the clinic after the provider has reviewed your appointment notes.
Do you accept external x-rays or other images?
Our providers may accept your external x-rays, but please check with your provider’s nurse prior to your visit. Please bring the x-ray films or disks with you. If the file or disk that was supplied by your referring provider is corrupt or we are unable to load it into our systems, we may have to retake the x-ray image at your expense. UNC will not accept any x-ray that is older than 6 months for an existing condition (with the exception of Scoliosis patients – see below)
Scoliosis Patients: All scoliosis patients should bring all old x-ray films and /or discs, even those that are older than 6 months old.
When must an x-ray be completed at UNC?
For some of our specialty services, the provider will require that you have an x-ray at UNC due to the highly specialized nature of the diagnosis or because the surgeon will be using them for surgical planning. All Joint Replacements will require an x-ray at UNC.
Why did I receive a separate bill for my X-ray?
X-Ray services are performed in our clinic by UNC Hospital and you will receive a separate bill for their services, which will include both a facility and a professional fee. X-ray fees are considered a hospital-based benefit and a co-payment will not be collected at the point of service.
Your Care Team
At UNC we take a team approach to your care, and during a typical visit your care may be provided by the following members of our care team under the direction of your provider:
Cast Technician: Assists the patient during the visit and specializes in application and removal of casts and splints under orders from the provider
X-Ray Technician: Performs a brief medical history, prepares the patient and conducts x-ray images under orders from the provider
Registered Nurse: Performs a medical history and physical exam and assists in collecting information for the provider. Assists in performing basic medical procedures, gives injections, places orders and prescriptions for the provider, provides patient education and is the primary point of contact for patients
Orthotic Fitter: Applies braces and other prescribed pre-fabricated devices
Nurse Practitioner: A nurse practitioner is an independent licensed provider, who has attained either a masters or doctoral degree in nursing practice. Our nurse practitioners are highly specialize in orthopaedic care and can manage the full range of non-surgical musculoskeletal conditions.
Our Teaching Mission
UNC is a teaching hospital, and we have been proudly training the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons for more than 60 years. In fact, many of the orthopaedic surgeons in your community may have trained at our hospital, and we are proud to have one of the leading residency programs in the country.
Please be aware that your care is provided by your orthopaedic surgeon who makes all decisions related to your diagnosis and treatment.
However, during your visit to our clinics the following types of learners may be involved in your care:
Medical Student: A medical student is studying for their medical degree, and is observing and participating in your care to learn more about basic orthopaedic problems. Medical students are not managing your care, if they are participating it is only as a learning exercise. All decisions are made independently by our care teams. If you are seen by a medical student they will be clearly identified as a student.
Orthopaedic Resident: An orthopaedic resident has completed their medical degree, and holds a state medical license which allows them to participate in your care. At UNC we have a mentorship model of training which allows our residents to be mentored under the direct supervision of a single provider for an extended period of time. Our residents are gradually given more autonomy in patient care as they move through the program in preparation for them to go into practice. A resident may be involved extensively in your care, but will be under the direct supervision of your provider. During your visit please expect to be seen by an orthopaedic resident and your attending physician.
Other healthcare students: We train other healthcare professionals in our clinics and other students that may observe or participate in your care including nurse practitioner students, primary care students, and emergency medicine students.