By: Caroline MacElroy, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC
Many parents may find themselves in a situation where they get home from work suddenly to find that now their child has a fever and a sore throat but the pediatrician’s office is closed. Where is the best place to take your child if you need medical attention after hours?
There are many choices of emergency rooms facilities and urgent care centers. These locations may seem like a good option when your pediatrician’s office is closed; however, proceed with a word of wisdom and caution.
If you chose to take your child to one of these locations please choose one with pediatric-focused providers. Adults receive a different approach to managing illness and injury than children, especially infants. The general urgent care centers and emergency room facilities are staffed with qualified general, emergency, or family care practitioners. They are able to see and treat children but also treat adults as well. These facilities also charge a different co-pay since it is considered urgent care or even emergency care. This co-pay will typically be higher than the co-pay at your doctor’s office because it is considered to be a different level of care.
Also, there are some insurance companies that will treat children over the phone. Again they are not guaranteed to be a pediatric-focused provider. Sometimes there are some rashes and illnesses where it is best to have a hands-on assessment or a brief look in the ears or a quick listen to the lungs to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment.
At Wimberley Pediatrics and Tiger Clinic, we are here to help offer some guidance if you are in this situation. If your child is having a life-threatening emergency call 911 immediately. If the situation is not life threatening, established patients may call our after hours line at 512-552-4950 to speak with an on-call provider. There is a $25 fee for after-hours calls. It may be recommended that your child can wait to be seen the following business day. If it is decided that your child needs urgent care after hours it will be recommended you seek care at a pediatric facility. Your child may have a more urgent matter that may require treatment at an emergency facility. In that case we recommend Dell Children’s Medical Center where they are best equipped to handle pediatric emergencies.
Our entire staff is committed to providing the highest quality care while being highly sensitive to the needs of your child. Our goal is to help you navigate all the different after hours care options available for your child, in order to continue delivering high quality care.