A feature you should seek at your pediatrician's office.
When I was pregnant and looking for the perfect pediatrician, other mothers advised me to seek out a few important features.
Number one was waiting rooms that are designated for well visits and sick visits. The second one was walk-in hours.
Having used the walk-in hour recently again, it reminded me of what a great feature this is.
A walk-in hour is time set aside a few days a week, usually in the mornings, where parents can bring in children to be treated for acute illnesses without having an appointment. It’s great for helping to make the school/no school decision without wasting your morning waiting for an appointment (or worse- sending a child to school who is not well enough to be sent).
My daughter woke up with a fever, cough and runny nose in the middle of the night recently. It just so happened that the next day our doctor’s office had walk-in hours (the only silver lining when dealing with the sniffles at 2 a.m.).
I got up, got her up and dressed, and made it there shortly after the hour began. As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw two other parents with children hurrying in. They could have had a regularly scheduled appointment, but I could tell by their haste they were probably walk-ins.
I view calling your pediatrician or using walk-in hours much like waiting to get tickets to a highly sought after concert. It can be madness. You are desperate to get in, and since it’s often first come, first serve, if you don’t act quickly enough, you might miss out.
(Now, obviously, no pediatrician is going to let a sick child not get an appointment, so it’s not really the same thing. But sometimes I feel that stress to get there early, just in case).
This went, as most of my visits are with our pediatrician, very smoothly. We no sooner had sat down in the waiting room after checking in, when they called us back. The visit was quick, informative, and I knew that she could not go to school (thanks to a fever and a virus).
All this before 8:30 a.m.
Though I felt badly that my daughter was under the weather, I was grateful that I didn’t have to wonder all day what the diagnosis was and what I could do to make her feel better. I knew before the day had barely started. Which was good for all of us.
If this were a movie review, the “Walk-In” would get 5 stars from me and later go on to be best picture of the year. If this feature is something your doctor’s office doesn’t offer, I highly encourage you to recommend that they do.
Here’s hoping this is the last of the winter colds and that spring comes early, and doesn’t bring along any new germs.