With about 7,100 urgent-care centers located in the United States, there's no reason to rely on emergency rooms when your child gets sick or hurt. You'll likely spend less time waiting for treatment at an urgent-care center than an emergency room, and you can build relationships with the doctors at your local facilities, which isn't usually possible when visiting an emergency room. Here are a few things you can do to prep for urgent-care visits so the process is convenient when your accident-prone child hurts themselves or gets ill for some reason.
Pack a Ready Bag
It's important to pack a ready bag and keep it handy in the car when traveling with your child so it's available when there's a need to visit an urgent-care facility. This will help ensure that you have everything you need to keep your kid comfortable in the waiting room, during their examination, and on the way home afterward. Fill a bag with items such as:
- A change of clothes
- Coloring and reading books
- An ice and heat pack that can be stored and activated without a cooling source
- A small pillow and blanket
- Some healthy snacks like granola bars and dried fruit
The idea is to make sure that you have everything you need on hand to make your child feel safe and cozy when they're hurt or ill so that the experience of visiting an urgent-care center is less intimidating.
Make Copies of Paperwork
It's also important to make sure that you keep copies of all the paperwork you've been issued from previous doctor and urgent-care visits. This will help ensure that the doctors you see in the future during an emergency have all of the background information they need to correctly diagnose your child and provide proper care. This is especially helpful if you're seeing a doctor at a facility you've never visited before.
Whenever your child is discharged from the hospital doctor's office, or urgent-care center, make copies of all the paperwork you are given and file it away in a folder that is kept in your vehicle's trunk or in your ready bag. The facility you visit will be able to store the paperwork in their files for future visits, which should make future intake processes less time consuming and stressful for everyone involved.
Schedule Consultation Meetings
Because you never know when or where you'll need to take your accident-prone child during an emergency, it's a good idea to schedule consultation meetings with several urgent-care centers within your local area so you can meet the doctors, get a file started for your child, and get to know the facilities' intake and discharge processes. Bring your child to the consultations so they can get to know the service providers as well. By becoming familiar with each other, you'll find that taking your child to a local urgent-care center isn't much different than taking them to a traditional doctor's appointment at a regular healthcare facility.
Get Pertinent Network Information
Because it's impossible to know exactly where you'll be when an accident occurs and your child is in need of emergency medical care, you may find yourself in need of visiting facilities that you aren't familiar with at one time or another. Because of this, it's a good idea to find out whether or not any urgent-care providers in your area are networked with other facilities out of the area.
If so, you can have them fax your child's healthcare records to a networked facility during an emergency visit so that the doctor who is treating your little one has all of the pertinent information they need to provide optimal care. You may be able to have your local facility go ahead and get a file started with their network facilities in case you need their services in the future.
These tips and tricks should help ensure that each visit to an urgent-care center such as Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc. with your child is comfortable and convenient.