Urgent Care in a Not so Urgent Way
Setting the Scene
It's Monday night. My husband and I are getting ready to call it a day so we can get up early and get our morning workout in. However, just as I was about to lay my head down on the pillow, I hear my son in the other room start to scream. Immediately my mom sense takes over and I jump out of bed and head into his room to see what the matter is.
My son is screaming and coughing a low raspy dry cough, so forcefull it is almost causing him to start throwing up. He is burning up just to the touch, but to verify my mom doctor senses, we checked with the thermometor to see he truly was running a fever. An hour later, his fever was under control and he was back asleep.
The morning came way to quickly, yet I was anxious to get my workout knocked out of the way for the day. So I was up and ready. I jabbed my husband to wake him and walked downstairs to get everything set up. Our friend came over and my husband finally made it down the stairs, moaning and groaning the entire time. Now he was sick!
Our household has been caught up in this head cold for months. The coughs and the sniffles just don't seem to go away. Yet my husband added a new item to this already "pain in the butt" cold by adding naseau and puking to the menu as well. I already knew this was going to be a long week... and he ended up calling in sick for the day.
I continued with my normal daily routine, waking up our daughters and getting them ready for school. One headed out... the other stayed home. She too was not feeling good. By the time my son woke up, he still had the dry raspy cough. I knew it was time to do something. So off to the doctor we go... at least that was the plan.
Can I get an appointment please
Luckily for us, our new insurance was already set in place. This would have been an issue last year, but now our situation has changed and we have the option of going to the doctor. Last year we had just moved and trying to get medical assitance for the kids was nearly impossible and frankly, as close to a joke as I can imagine without laughing.
So we grabbed out our insurance cards, and called to make an appoinment with our doctor. Yet, there was no appointment available until next week.
To me, this is a problem. What is the point of having a primary care physician if you can't get in when you truly need them? So, that leaves us with only one other option... time to head to Urgent Care.
For those that know me, I am not a person who easily goes to the doctor. I have had my fair share of quakes that have done little to assist me or I have paid my hard earned money to so they can recommend a medicine over the counter. If I am going to medicate myself with medicine I can easily get ahold of, I see no point in spending my money on the middleman. However, when my 2 year old son has a raspy cough, I got concerned. This could turn into something much worse and with a very limited vocabulary, I can not communicate with him what is truly the matter. This is the only reason I opted for Urgent Care that day.
Looking for a sense of urgency... you won't find it here!
Where is the sense of urgency?
Now I do get it... if there are a lot of sick people out there, Urgent Care might be your only option. However, know that you are going to have to wait and you probably won't be seeing a doctor that you trust. After all, people will go to the Urgent Care for anything not suitable for emergency room - yet anything they are worried about (you know - like an infected hangnail!)
So with that knowledge, and already feeling antsy because of my hatred toward going to the doctor... we signed in both kids and waited... and waited... and waited!
After 2 hours and some very antsy kids, we finally got called back into a room to be greeted by an extremely rude nurse. Not a good first impression.
Once we were sitting in the room, we were once again playing the waiting game. This time wondering when the doctor would finally grace us with his or her presence.
When she finally came in, she did a quick check on both my daughter and my son. We talked to her briefly about the entire family being sick; even asked if she could look at my husband's ears (since he didn't think of signing in with both the sick kids) She refused to look at anyone else (which could be regulation so I can't blame her) and told my husband he was more than welcome to go back and sign in on the sheet and wait again.
All and all... we waited for 2 and a half hours for about 5 minutes of facetime... that was for both kids. At least she gave the kids antibiotics.
Back to the Waiting Game
The next day, my husband called in sick again. He was back to not keeping anything down. So I suggested he get up early and get to Urgent Care right away. Unfortunately, he couldn't get out of bed until a little later and didn't get there until after 9 a.m. To avoid taking the kids and exposing them to more unnecessary germs, I stayed home and let him wait it out by himself.
This time, he ended up waiting for 3 hours. When the doctor came in, he clicked the stop watch to see how long he would spend discussing the issues he was having: clogged ears and ear pain, being sick, and not being able to keep anything down.
The doctor barely looked at him. Gave him 3 minutes of his time, and handed him an excuse from work and a post it note telling him what he could pick up to remove the excess wax from his ear. The only acknowledgment that went to his throwing up, was a diet plan to follow.
It was a complete waste of a day!
How about you?
When it comes to doctors, you...
I am calling BS
Now I am not really happy with this whole situation. After all, we went to the doctor for help... we even paid for the help. Now, I don't think they did anything that I would be willing to pay the amount they are going to charge my insurance company.
While I give the first doctor props for at least treating my kids with an antibiotic for an infection - they did nothing for my husband. His ears have been bothering him for the past 3 weeks to the point of it affecting his hearing. And while he is back at work, he is still not feeling too good. In fact, most people in our family have been dragged down from this cold.
So I stand by what I said early - I still don't trust going to the doctors if they are going to recommend over the counter medicines instead of doing their job.
Introducing the Shrek Smoothie - Hate going to the doctor? Can't say I blame you. So drink the Shrek Smoothie - loaded with good for you vitamins and nutrients and keep the doctor away!
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What to do...
Naturally, I wasn't sure how to deal with this issue, so I reached out on Facebook to see what other people have said.
Other than writing about the problems with our healthcare system, someone is going to have to be notified. The first step is to contact the insurance company. After all, this Urgent Care was quick to take the copay, but not so quick to render the services needed. The next suggestion is to contact the Urgent Care and ask for the administrator and report the problem.
Unfortunately, because it was mainly my husband's treatment, I can't place the complaints myself, so this is going to land on his shoulders. Fortunately, my husband also works with insurance and knows the ins and outs of how this works. Only we found out to late that this particular Urgent Care is already under investigation for services that we have already experienced. However, at least we can add to the list and maybe get them shut down.
From now on - we wait for the appointment with a doctor we can actually trust!
Another sad story
Urgent Care Medical Offices - Not All They're Cracked Up to Be - If you have ever had a bad experience in the Urgent Care, you are definately not alone. Here is another story of how the Urgent Care didn't do the job they are meant for!
Do you have a story about how you were mistreated in the Urgent Care. Please let me know and I will link to your story as well!