A trip to the emergency room is never on the agenda. If you ever find yourself taking your child for emergency medical care, you need to know what to expect and how to be prepared.
First, you’ll need to know where to go. If your child has a serious illness or injury, you need to head to the closest health care facility. To receive optimal pediatric care, you should seek a pediatric urgent care center or pediatric emergency department in your area.
Once you know the best location to take your child, you need to consider wait times. With flu and respiratory season on the horizon, you should expect heavy volumes of patients. The busiest ER season is typically fall/winter, and the evenings can be the busiest time of day. With that said, there’s always an element of unpredictability when it comes to the ER. Be prepared for the busiest, and then hope you’re one of only a few waiting to be seen.
Patients are often prioritized according to acuity, meaning the sickest are seen first. So, don’t get upset if you have to wait longer than someone else. Once you’re called back, it’s not uncommon to continue to wait. Waiting just happens to be the necessary beast when it comes to receiving quality care.
After understanding wait times, there are just a few rules you’ll want to know:
With these logistical things in mind, what’s next in preparing and supporting your child? Consider the following:
- Pack some familiar comfort items, toys and activities to bring with you. Since you might be waiting awhile, these items will help you and your child pass the time. If your child requires a special comfort item to rest or feel at ease, don’t hesitate to bring it.
Pack these items for you and your child if you have the luxury of time before heading to a hospital near you:
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