FALLS CHURCH, Va. –
With the coming of spring, the temperatures warm and the tempo of life picks up. Outdoor activities resume—recreation, yardwork, cookouts—and change of station plans swing into high gear. Amid the busyness of these warmer months, the potential for minor injuries and health concerns may increase. It’s good to know that you have all-the-time access to health information and advice via the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line
“TRICARE understands that injuries and illness don’t take a vacation when the warm weather arrives,” said Robin Abbott, acting chief of the Defense Health Agency Integrated Referral Management and Appointing Center. “You may have an immediate need for support, or you may have questions about health and wellness. For any minor injury or illness, or for general health care information, the MHS Nurse Advice Line is there for you at no cost.”
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the MHS Nurse Advice Line.
Q: Who’s eligible to use the MHS Nurse Advice Line?
You can use the MHS Nurse Advice Line if you’re a TRICARE beneficiary living or traveling in the U.S. or in a country outside the U.S. with a military hospital or clinic
. This includes:
- Active duty service members
- Active duty family members
- Retirees and their family members
It’s important that your sponsor’s and your family members’ personal information is up to date in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
. Log in to milConnect
to check your information to ensure it’s current.
If you’re enrolled in the US Family Health Plan
, you can’t use the MHS Nurse Advice Line.
Q: What kind of help can I expect?
When you call the MHS Nurse Advice Line, you’ll be connected to a registered nurse. They’ll help you identify illness and safely treat minor injuries. If your condition is urgent or serious, they’ll help you find the urgent care
or emergency care
Your nurse can:
Q: What types of questions or advice can I call with?
- Answer your health care questions
- Assess your symptoms and give recommendations for the most appropriate steps to take
- Provide instructions to treat minor issues or self-care tips that you can use at home
- Help locate the closest urgent care or emergency care facility, if necessary
- Help you schedule and appointment at a military hospital or clinic, if you’re enrolled
Here are a few examples:
Q: How can I connect with a nurse?
- I have a rash after working in the yard—how should I treat it?
- When should I take my child to the emergency room if their fever doesn’t come down?
- I think I sprained my ankle, but I’m not sure if I should get it X-rayed.
- How can I tell the difference between a cold or a sinus infection?
- Our child fell off his bike and hit his head—should we take him to the hospital to check for concussion?
- We need medical care, and we aren’t near a military hospital or clinic. Where should we go?
Nurses (including pediatric nurses) at the MHS Nurse Advice Line are available 24/7 by phone, online chat, or video chat. Follow these steps to use the MHS Nurse Advice Line:
If you you’re in the U.S., Guam, or Puerto Rico, call 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273) and choose option 1. Outside these countries, go to the MHS Nurse Advice Line website to find your location-specific number.
Q: Can I use the MHS Nurse Advice Line if I live or I’m traveling overseas?
The MHS Nurse Advice Line is available overseas where there’s a military hospital or clinic. If you’re traveling overseas and need care outside of the MHS, you can call the MHS Nurse Advice Line. A nurse will coordinate with the TRICARE Overseas contractor
to get you the care you need.
Q: In an emergency, should I call the MHS Nurse Advice Line?
No. The MHS Nurse Advice Line isn’t for emergency situations
(conditions that threaten your life, limb, eyesight, or safety). If you or a family member reasonably believe you’re experiencing a health emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. If overseas, dial your international emergency number.
Unexpected things can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s why the MHS Nurse Advice Line
is there for you all year round, day or night. Whether you’re in your own backyard or moving across the country, a nurse is available when you need health care advice, nonemergency treatment, and options for care after hours.
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