As a staff member working on the “MakeTheRightCall” campaign, I know about the importance of connecting with a primary care physician for non-emergency needs. A few days ago, an opportunity arose where I learned this firsthand.
My son Xander had been battling a cold and running a low-grade fever for about two weeks. After a few days with the cold, I gave him over-the-counter medications, which brought his temperature down. Xander then seemed to feel better and went along with his normal routine. However, the cold returned with a vengeance and my babysitter texted me around 4:15 on Thursday and said that Xander had spiked a high temperature and she needed me to come and take him home immediately.
As I drove to the babysitter’s house, I called Xander’s primary care physician, a pediatrician, for advice. She has been his doctor since he was just a few days old so I knew she would help me make the right decision about what to do. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the office had Thursday evening appointments and they could get him in at 7:10 that night. I made the appointment right then and felt relieved that she could see him so quickly.
After a short evaluation, the doctor diagnosed Xander with a sinus infection and
I am happy to report that Xander, who my husband and I lovingly refer to as Captain Chaos, is now feeling better and is back to his normal self again. When I think about making the right call, I am very happy with the decision that I made to call Xander’s pediatrician first. I have a high deductible health plan, so going to the doctor’s office for Xander’s medical needs costs much less than going to an emergency department. Also, I felt reassured knowing that his doctor already knew him well and had all of his health records on hand for making decisions during our visit. Further, I also felt more at peace knowing that we were able to quickly and efficiently get Xander’s medical needs addressed.
I know it is hard to know what to do when faced with medical needs, especially with a sick and irritable child, but having a relationship with a pediatrician or primary care physician can help you “MakeTheRightCall”. It certainly helped me.
Lori McAleer,Project Manager, Health Transformation
Greater Cincinnati Health Council