Last updated date: 01-Dec-2021
Originally Written in English
24 Hour Urgent Care – 9 Things to Look for When Choosing a Clinic for Your Child
24 Hour Urgent Care
Every single year, 24-hour urgent care centres deal with close to 100 Million visits each year. Out of these visits, a large percentage are children.
As a parent or guardian, your child will be your pride and joy and you will want to do everything in your power to keep them safe and healthy. This is where it pays dividends to find a 24-hour urgent care clinic for your child as this will offer you 24-hour care and peace of mind in the process.
Let’s face it, children can be accident prone, and as their immune systems are still developing, children often pick up illnesses and get sick more frequently than adults. Just to make matters more inconvenient, these issues don’t always occur at regular working hours between 9 and 5.
If your child suffers an injury or gets sick at an unsociable hour, the last thing you’ll want to do is sit counting down the hours until your nearest clinic opens in the morning. Thankfully, 24-hour urgent care clinics for children are now more common than ever, which is what we’re looking at today.
Here are several things to look for when searching for a 24-hour urgent care clinic for your child.
Are they really open 24 hours?
One of the first considerations you need to make when choosing a clinic for your child is whether or not it is actually open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
As mentioned, we never know what’s around the corner, and while it would be useful if we could predict when our children are going to hurt themselves or become unwell, the truth of the matter is that we can’t.
When searching for a 24 hour urgent care clinic for your child, make sure it is actually open and offering medical care and treatment 24 hours per day.
Do they offer connected care?
Remember, 24-hour urgent care clinics are there for emergencies, they aren’t your child’s usual medical providers.
When you’re considering a clinic, it’s important to speak to them and find out whether they offer connected care. What we mean by this, is that you need to find out whether they will work closely with your child’s usual healthcare provider, including their primary care doctor, and any specialists they may have to see.
This is important because it ensures that they can coordinate any follow-up care, treatments, and procedures, and it ensures that they have access to and can familiarize themselves with your child’s medical history beforehand.
Again, this offers peace of mind as it helps to prevent issues such as allergic reactions or prescriptions of the wrong medications.
Will they keep you in the loop?
If you’re on the hunt for 24-hour urgent care for your child, another consideration is whether or not they will keep you in the loop.
As a parent or guardian, if your child does require medical care or attention, you will want to know exactly what is going on and you will want to be kept up-to-date throughout the day, to help set your mind at ease if nothing else.
Not only that, but your child may require certain medications or treatments after they have been discharged, which may have to be administered by you at home. If so, you will want to know exactly what to do and they should be able to tell you.
Being kept in the loop by the clinic is very important as you can learn about your child’s injury or condition, as well as working out treatments and knowing when to book in for a follow-up visit.
Basically, the better the clinic is at keeping you updated with what is going on, the better the clinic is likely to be as this can be very beneficial.
Where are they located?
Another hugely important consideration when it comes to 24-hour urgent care clinics for children is their location.
If your child needs to visit one of these centres, you will obviously want to get them in as soon as possible so the location is very important.
When searching for your ideal urgent care clinic, try to find one that is located as close to you as possible, as this will save time if and when your child needs to be seen.
The last thing you want is to be travelling for a long time to get your child seen, especially in the event of an emergency so find a clinic located close-by in a location that is convenient for you and easy to get to.
Do they offer board-certified paediatric care?
This next consideration is a deal-breaker for a lot of parents and guardians, so be sure to pay close attention.
If you are on the lookout for a 24-hour urgent care centre for your child, you should enquire as to whether or not the clinic in question provides board-certified paediatric care.
Basically, you want to ensure that every clinic you are considering will have at least one qualified paediatrician. This is important because, obviously, these are specialists when it comes to dealing with illnesses, injuries, and ailments relating to children.
For example, because children are not developed the same way as adults, broken bones and sprains can affect them differently, and a paediatrician will know precisely how to treat them and what to do.
Whether it’s a physical injury, an illness, or anything else for that matter, if the expert in question specializes in providing medical care and treatment to children, this ensures that your little bundles of joy will be in the safest hands possible.
How much will it cost?
Obviously, you can’t put a price on somebody’s health and potentially somebody’s life, but the fact of the matter is that many of us need to be careful with our spending and watch how much we spend.
If you are on a budget, before you commit to a 24-hour urgent care clinic for your child, first find out exactly how much it is going to cost. Usually, visits to urgent care centres cost less than a visit to the emergency room, but even so, it is worth finding out how much they charge so that you can begin budgeting accordingly.
What are waiting times like?
One of the biggest downsides to visiting the emergency room is the fact that it usually takes so long to be seen.
Waiting times at emergency rooms can feel like an eternity, and as you will probably be aware, children are not the most patient of individuals so the sooner you can get them seen and looked at, the better.
Obviously, the urgent care clinic in question won’t be able to give you a definitive answer regarding waiting times because it depends on the day, but they should be able to give you a rough idea, which again can help you to make the necessary preparations.
How well do the staff work with children?
It might sound bizarre, but there are urgent care clinics out there for children that employ people that are, shall we say, not all that great with children.
When you take your child into an urgent care practice, you’ll want to ensure that they are in the best hands possible and that the staff looking after them are friendly, reliable, competent, and good with children.
As far as overall importance is concerned, having a good bedside manner and being able to work with kids and provide the care and treatment they need, along with the reassurance and maybe even the entertainment, these are all vital considerations.
Equipment and facilities
Finally, the last few considerations when deciding on a 24-hour urgent care facility for your child are the facilities and equipment options.
Ideally, you want a clinic which utilizes state-of-the-art technology and equipment to help ensure that your child gets the best care and the best treatment possible.
Look for a clinic which uses up-to-date technology and equipment such as an EHR (Electronic Health Record) as this will ensure that information regarding your child and their medical history can be shared with your primary care doctor and your child’s health team in general.
The use of modern technology can help to speed up online bookings and appointments, it can show you waiting times, plus it can also allow you to make a reservation using your phone, tablet, or computer in advance.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, medical care and treatments for children is now more efficient than ever, so look for a clinic that isn’t using outdated practices, equipment, and technology.