There have been many shifts in medicine over the last decade. Regardless, most of us still continue to practice in a way that focuses on our patients and providing quality medical care. Despite the obstacles, we remain dedicated. There are barriers. One of these being the “pop up” urgent care clinic.

“I go to an urgent care clinic because they take walk ins and have weekend hours.”

Both of our Hendersonville Pediatrics offices take walk ins during office hours, five days a week. We have evening hours most days (except for the summer months) and weekend hours every Saturday and Sunday. It is our goal to be present for our patients and their families. We understand how unpredictable illness can be and how difficult it is to have a sick child. We provide a clean, friendly and convenient medical home every day of the year. And we know your kids better.

“I go to an urgent care clinic because it provides similar medical care.”

Well, not exactly. When you bring your child to us, we have access to and review your child’s entire medical history. We can track disease trends, growth curves and developmental milestones. We do this at each visit for every patient before we even enter the exam room. Urgent care staff do not have access to your child’s complete history. They do not have their growth charts to view. They do not do developmental screenings. They often times do not do a complete physical exam when doing a sports physical. We do.

“It’s just a check for Strep throat.”

It could be that simple. It could not be. Each of us could tell you stories of visits which were scheduled as “cough”, “possible Strep” or “headache” and turned out to be “pneumonia”, “peritonsillar abscess” or “encephalitis”. We have incidentally found leukemia in kids coming in for “just fever”. This is the scary part of our job. It is the art of medicine which allows us to look a little further, ask a few more questions and order the correct test. We know your kids better.

“My child is healthy. There is no need for a detailed pediatrician visit.”

I am an osteopathic physician. As a “DO” I have been trained to center my focus on treating the whole person. The mind, the body and how they are interconnected. It’s about balance. Each work day I diagnose mental health conditions, developmental delays, nutritional deficiencies. I listen to stories and struggles of families in crisis, dealing with addiction, reaching out to get support. Hendersonville Pediatrics has a mental health team. Our psychologist, Dr. Will Dalton is available to our patients for help with issues such as potty training, discipline, ADHD, phobias, food refusal to name just a few. Our psychotherapist, Michael Thomas provides support for our patients with depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, ADHD, among others. As pediatricians we are trained to ask lots of detailed questions about physical symptoms, pooping, hobbies, social lives, academics. We might even ask the color of your bedroom rug:) We thrive on details. While this all takes time, we need to know these things to know your child. We need to ask some hard questions because it enables us to be complete. We want your children to feel comfortable telling us anything. Urgent care clinics may keep it quick and simple - less attention to your child’s needs. We are their medical home. We know your kids better.

Also, there is the issue of continuity of care. We have a medical team where everyone communicates and the electronic medical record is complete. We do not however, always receive updates from the urgent care clinics. So we do not have that Strep infection documented or that fourth ear infection. Similarly, if not communicated to us through a note from urgent care we may not have the medication list updated. Would you want your physician treating you without a complete medical record?

So, I’ll end with this: next time you consider going to an urgent care for a last minute sports physical or a sick visit, remember that we are here. We are willing to accomodate you the best we can. We know your children and want them to have a medical home here. 

Dr. SUrgent care clinics keep it simple but not necessarily complete.

There are many good reasons why helping your child avoid the flu is a good idea.
• A child with the flu feels lousy and can run a high fever;
• A child with the flu typically miss precious school days (and parents miss work)
• A child with the flu may require trips to the E.R. or worse, hospitalization;
• Flu is easily spread among the whole family;
• A child with the flu will disrupt family holiday plans;

And as if this isn’t enough….

Summer is a great time for kids to enjoy different indoor and outdoor activities. Whether they are young children or teens, learn ways to keep your kids safe and healthy while they enjoy the summer fun. Here are a few tips from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) to help make your summer fun and safe for all.

Master water safety

Water-related activities are popular for getting physical activity and have many health benefits. Here are some tips to stay safe while having fun. Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.
• Always supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children.
• Teach kids to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
• Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
• Install a four-sided fence around home pools.

Beat the heat and sun

Heat-related illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. For heat-related illness,the best defense is prevention.
• Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
• Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours.
• Stay cool with cool showers or baths.
• Seek medical care immediate if your child has symptoms of heat-related illness.

Just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors.
• Cover up. Clothing that covers your and your child's skin helps protect against UV rays.
• Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection every time you and your child go outside.

Keep mosquitos and ticks from bugging you this summer

Protect yourself and your family by preventing bites and diseases, like Zika, West Nile virus and Lyme disease, which can be transmitted by insects.
• Use an effective insect repellent while playing outdoors.
• Make your backyard a tick-safe zone.
• Check yourself and your children for ticks. Ticks are easy to remove.

Prevent Injuries

Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Falls at home and on the playground are a common cause of injury.
• Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft, and well-maintained.
• Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment.
• Use stair gates, which can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity.
• Learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.
• Make sure kids and teens wear the right protective equipment for their sport or recreation activity.
Parents can take many actions to protect their children's health and safety at home.
• Stay smart around the house by following tips on fire prevention, microwave use, and living with pets.
• Learn healthy home tips for each room in the house.
Young workers have high job injury rates. Hazards in the workplace, inexperience, and lack of safety training may increase injury risks for young workers.
• Know their rights, employer and teen worker responsibilities, and what teens under 18 can’t do.

Stop the violence

• Kids can use electronic media to embarrass, harass, or threaten their peers. Take steps to prevent electronic aggression, a term that captures all types of violence that occur electronically.
• As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences, including teen dating. Protect your children from teen dating violence. Nearly one in 10 teens reports having been hit or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend at least once over a year’s time.