FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

I am a new patient at the Health Department.  What can I expect during my appointment?

First, call our Appointment Line (828-587-8289) to schedule your appointment.  A staff member will ask for your name, date of birth, address, phone number, and what type of service (such as CDL Physical, Family Planning, Maternal Health, BCCCP, STD, etc. ) you would like to schedule.  Most appointments are scheduled within a week’s time.  When you arrive for your appointment, check in with a staff member at Registration.  Staff will ask for your name, date of birth, and appointment time as well as review additional information (Notice of Privacy, Release of Information) with you.  Staff will verify your insurance information and collect payment, as required.  Once you are checked in, a Medical Office Assistant (MOA) will take you to a Clinic Room.  The MOA will confirm your name, date of birth, and reason for your visit; then the MOA will take your vitals.  Next, a Nurse will ask you questions, completing your patient history.  You will then see the Provider next who will perform whatever exam is needed.  From there, you may go to the Laboratory.  A Lab Technician will confirm your name and date of birth and then draw your blood.  Your appointment will end with a visit to Accounts Receivable.  Staff in this section will check you out; they may ask for your insurance, for payment, or schedule a follow up appointment.

When can I make a STD appointment?

STD appointments are provided Monday-Friday.  Learn more here.

When can I get a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy tests are available on a walk-in basis on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays from 8 AM-4:30 PM.  Learn more about pregnancy tests here.

How much are immunizations?

The Health Departments accepts cash, check, debit/credit cards, and some insurance plans to cover the cost of a immunization.  The cost of the immunization depends on your insurance coverage, how many immunizations you are receiving, and what types of immunizations you receive at your visit.  Unless you qualify for State-supplied vaccines, there is a charge for each vaccine. Learn more about immunizations here.

For questions about immunizations, call 828-586-8994.

I will be traveling out of the country.  What vaccines do I need and can I get them at the Health Department?

When preparing to travel to another country, please consult the CDC's travel website-- enter your destination and look for recommended or required vaccines.  Allow at least 4 weeks before the travel date to schedule an appointment to get the vaccine for optimal protection as vaccines take time to reach their full effect.

The Health Department offers a variety of vaccines that may help if traveling out of the country but we do not offer the following vaccines: Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid, or Malaria Prophylaxis.  If you need to discuss vaccines that are required or recommended for your travel to another country, call any of these travel clinics:

I would like to make a Family Planning appointment but I don't have insurance and am worried about being able to afford it.  Can I still make an appointment?

Yes.  If you do not have health insurance and are worried about the cost of service for a Family Planning appointment, you can apply for our sliding fee scale.  The sliding fee scale is based on income and family size.  Depending on your income and family size, the fee for your appointment may "slide" to $0.  Learn more about Family Planning appointments here.

What does fasting mean?

By definition, fasting means refraining from all food or drink; however, water is acceptable.  For laboratory tests that require fasting, 8-12 hours is recommended.  Fasting is important as it may affect certain lab results.

I have a doctor's order for a lab test.  What will it cost?

There are literally thousands of laboratory tests available to assist your physician in diagnosis and management of your health.  Please call 828-587-8233 for the cost of the specific test ordered by your physician.

I live out-of-state and need lab work once a month.  Can I come to the Health Department to have my lab work done?

Yes.  The laboratory at the Health Department gladly accepts written orders from physicians nationwide.  We ask that all pertinent information (such as name, date of birth, provider signature, office contact information, and insurance) is provided on the order.

I have medication that I no longer need.  Where can I dispose of this medication?

It is important to remove expired, unwanted, or unused medication from your home as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance that others may accidentally take or intentionally misuse the unneeded medicine.   There are many ways in which you can safely dispose of your medication-- through medicine take-back programs, permanent drop boxes, or at-home disposal.

Medicine take-back programs are events where law enforcement partners with community organizations to set up collection sites in the community for the safe disposal of medication. Residents bring their medication to these sites and leave it with the law enforcement officers who, in turn, dispose of it in the proper manner.  For more information on take-back programs, click here.

Permanent drop boxes are disposal boxes, under the direction of law enforcement.  Residents bring their medication to these boxes and leave it where law enforcement officers dispose of it in the proper manner.  Jackson County has a permanent drop box located at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

If no medicine take-back programs are scheduled and accessing the permanent drop box is unavailable, there are specific instructions one can follow to safely dispose of medication at home.  Click here to learn how to safely dispose of medication at home.

Where can I dispose of my sharps (needles, scalpels, blades, etc)?

The Health Department does not accept sharps from the public.  If looking to dispose of your sharps, Jackson County Solid Waste and Recycling recommends that you place your sharps in a rigid plastic container such as a laundry detergent bottle.  Write on the container what is inside using a marker.  When the container is full, bring it to the Staffed Recycling Center (SRC) where you regularly dispose of garbage and the attendant will know how to properly dispose of the container.  Please note that SRCs can only accept sharps from Jackson County residents, not from commercial facilities such as doctor's offices.

If you feel uncomfortable disposing of your sharps in the manner described above, there are mail-in programs that will dispose of sharps for a fee.

I need clean needles and/or syringes.  Where can I find some?

It sounds like you are looking for a Syringe Exchange Program (SEP).  SEPs work to distribute unused sterile syringes and provide safe disposal methods for used syringes.  Currently, the North Carolina Division of Public Health is implementing a project called the Safer Syringe Initiative.  This project is working to increase access to clean needles and syringes, provide information about harm reduction and preventative health, and connect people who inject drugs or otherwise use drugs with treatment and medical and social services as requested.  For more information about this project or about SEPs in general, click here.

The Jackson County Department of Public Health does not currently operate an SEP.  However, there are many SEPs located throughout NC and in Western NC that can help.  The programs closest to JCDPH include NC Harm Reduction Coalition- Haywood (910-228-6581), Tsalagi Public Health Syringe Exhange Program (828-359-6252 or 828-359-6879), and WNC AIDS Program & Full Circle Recovery (617-828-9184).  For an extensive list of SEPs in NC, click here.

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