When it comes to my kids there is no question about seeking emergency medical care. In a REAL emergency, time is precious. I can’t second guess myself and wonder, “Is this REALLY an emergency?” There’s just simply no time for that. And yes, I have paid for peace of mind, but you know what? It’s worth every dollar to know that my child is healthy and safe.
My first emergency room visit with one of my children happened when my oldest son was almost three years old. It all began on a fun Friday that was full of plans.
I had lots of activities scheduled that day, but my son was complaining of a hurt tummy. I tucked him in my bed with his favorite stuffed animal and told him everything would be all right. After a few hours my mom came over to visit and she noticed he wasn’t feeling well. Then, he refused to eat. He even started taking short and quick breaths. My mom and I knew there was only one thing to do — take him to see the doctor.
When we met with our doctor, he said we needed to get my son to the emergency room. He told us that the level of pain my son was in was definitely abnormal and he needed to get to the hospital fast.
My mom and I headed to the hospital and were seen right away. I can honestly say I was impressed.
Every nurse used reassuring words to comfort and assure me that they would do everything in their power to make our entire family comfortable. They also told me they were searching all avenues to determine the source of his pain. I also had my nine month old daughter along who was being quite the happy trooper.
We called my husband and he was soon at the hospital. Once everyone had settled in for some diagnostic testing and waiting, my mom decided to take my nine-month old daughter home so she could rest. The hospital staff said it may be a while before we knew the results and could go back home.
After x-rays, blood work, ultrasounds and other tests, two doctors came and explained everything. One doctor was so kind and caring, that she took me back and had me look at the x-rays and explained the results. Nothing seemed abnormal, but she told me we can never assume there is nothing seriously wrong. She told me she wanted to rule a few more issues out before my son was released.
About an hour later another doctor came and chatted with us. He explained that all the tests came back normal, and nothing seemed to alarm the doctors. However, he offered to let my son stay the night for observation so we could be sure that everything was indeed normal.
The doctors and nurses were all so patient. Their calm and caring attitudes kept me calm and helped me not to overreact or worry. Moms are known to do that, right? They also talked to my son in reassuring tones and were very gentle with their care.
Taking a young child to the emergency room can be a little daunting, but hospitals across the country are making their emergency rooms much more kid and family oriented. Did you know that Children’s ER sees the highest percentile of patients in the 0-4 years old age range? That’s a tender age, and many times your child can’t explain in details what’s wrong or bothering her. That’s why it’s so crucial to have a hospital staff that is patient, kind and understands how to make a family and child comfortable and secure during a health emergency.
On that eventful day in the emergency room, we left without a diagnosis of my son’s pain. However, we left with the comfort and knowledge that the hospital staff was caring, involved and truly wanted to help our family in this situation. Yes, it did end up not being an emergency, but we are truly convinced that we made the right decision about our son’s health. We chose to take him to professionals who knew how to handle his situation — and they handled it beautifully. Since there was no clear diagnosis, the doctors could have made us feel like we made a useless trip, but they didn’t. They showed our family empathy and reassured us that we made the right decision
Having a caring and concerned emergency room staff can really determine if your experience is a pleasant or difficult one.
Do you have any emergency room stories? I would love to hear them on social media!