What to expect at your eye clinic visit

Tips and common questions

The eye clinic has two locations: Pomerantz Family Pavilion (Level 1) and UI Health Care-Iowa River Landing (Level 2). Each location has specialty clinics that focus on a specific disease or part of the eye. Patients arrive at a centrally located reception desk. 

Where do I park?

When you drive up to our clinic at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, remember that we offer valet parking right outside the clinic entrance for a minimal fee. If you would rather park in the ramp, the nearest one is Ramp 4. Please write down your ramp number and parking level.

While you are at UI Hospitals & Clinics, you can ask directions from our staff members or you can use the help phones located throughout the hospital. 

Parking at our Iowa River Landing location is free and located right next to the building. Staff members will greet you at the main entrance and can direct you to our clinic on Level 2.

Why might others get called before me when I was here first?

We have more than 40 providers praciticing in the Eye Clinic, so other patients may be seeing a different provider. 

What can I do while I wait?

  • We invite you to use our free WiFi.
  • You can take advantage of the coffee shop or the 5th Floor Melrose Dining Room.
  • If you need to leave the waiting area, please inform the desk clerk so we know you are away.

Why am I asked to repeat so much information?

Asking people to repeat information such as name, date of birth, and even why you are here, is part of a "checks and balances" system that improves patient safety.

Why are there multiple steps in my visit?

Because diseases of the eye may be complex, we want to be sure we have an accurate diagnosis. We take time to review your records and imaging results to make sure we have the information we need to treat you. The sequence of steps also may vary based on the diagnostic images your provider will need. If you need additional tests, we will try to coordinate those on the same day. 

Because we are a teaching hospital, your care team may include a resident or fellow, who may give a fresh perspective on your case.

Will I get my eyes dilated?

Based on your treatment plan, you may have your eyes dilated at some point during your visit. It may take up to 30 minutes to fully dilate. The effects of dilation can last for several hours. You may benefit from having a designated driver because of the sensitivity to light.

Why is check out important?

Before you head home, we want to answer all your questions and make sure you understand the next steps. We also may be scheduling multiple visits for you. If there are other departments involved in your care, we try to coordinate them for the same day. If you used valet parking, the check-out scheduler can notify the valet to get your car.

Where can I get my eye prescription filled?

UI Optical is conveniently located on Level 2 at both clinic locations. We can electronically deliver your prescription to UI Optical, where staff can help you choose from a great selection of styles and prices for eyeglasses.

Your experience and the care team

We want you to feel comfortable in your decision to let us care for your vision. We use the latest technology, research, and teamwork to understand and treat your eyes.

During your visit, you may meet several members of our care team who will help you along your journey. For every person you meet, there are several working behind the scenes to provide you with the best care possible.

To meet your needs, we may run many different tests to develop a plan of care for you. There may be down time throughout the day as we review your records or wait for imaging and test results. We will try and to keep your wait times in the clinic at a minimum. If you have any questions during your visit, please just ask. We are here to help you.

Although about 300 patients a day come to the Eye Clinic, every patient is an individual. Each patient will have a plan of care created for them.


You will begin your visit at reception where we welcome you to the clinic, verify insurance and other demographic information, and collect any copayments. For your convenience, we will accept credit card or debit card payments only (no cash or checks). This information is enetered into the system and will alert your team you are here.

Waiting area

While you are waiting in your specified waiting area, please take advantage of our WiFi, televisions, and magazines. There is a coffee shop just down the hall that serves drinks and snacks. While you are waiting, your care team is reviewing your records and preparing for their visit with you. They may make decisions regarding preliminary diagnostics during the review.

Exam room

Our clinical technicians will escort you from the waiting area to an exam room. They will verify information, perform multiple tests, and prepare you for the provider portion of your visit. You may be taken to diagnostic testing before, during, or after your exam. If you have any questions or concerns you would like addressed, you may share them with the technicians or your provider.


During the exam process, your care team may consult with other specialists, and your appointment could involve multiple providers visiting with you. Your care provider may repeat tests, review their finding, discuss any progress, and decide on next steps or treatment options. Once again, additional testing may be required at this point.

It is important to note that eye dilation is a part of many visits and can be done before or during the exam process. You will receive drops in your eyes and then need to wait 15 to 30 minutes for your eyes to dilate. This allows the providers to get a better view of your eye.


Checkout staff will review your after-visit summary to confirm that your follow-up care information is complete and accurate. They will schedule any future visits, tests, or procedures. Your provider will complete his or her notes and send a summary to whomever you specified as a member of your care team.


Last reviewed: 
October 2017

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