This post has been sponsored by PhysicianOne Urgent Care. All opinions are 100% my own.
A few years ago, my friend’s toddler put a bean in his ear. Yup. A little tiny dried bean. She had no idea how he got ahold of it! But there they were, just before bedtime and her son tells her there’s something in his ear. Ack!!!
What to do?! This wasn’t exactly an emergency situation, but it also wasn’t something she wanted to leave until the morning. So she did what any desperate mom would do when facing down an unnecessary trip to the emergency room: she called a friend who’s a pediatrician and asked if she could bring him over!
Of course, most of us probably don’t have pediatrician friends whom we can call after business hours to save us from an exasperating trip to the ER. But fortunately, now we have other options!
Have you ever taken your child to an urgent care facility? I hadn’t either the first time I brought my little guy into one. Like most new parents, I figured my two options for after hours care were our pediatrician’s on-call physician or nurse hotline, or a visit to the ER. Then, when my toddler developed nursemaids elbow–an annoying condition where the ligaments in the elbow seem to slip out of place for no apparent reason and need to be “popped” back in–I discovered a third option that’s really a charm!
After a handful of ER visits that found us waiting around for the better part of 3 hours for the basically 3 second procedure to fix the elbow (made even more maddening because we knew it was only going to be a 3 second procedure), I remembered a flyer I had gotten in the mail about a local urgent care center. Why not? I thought. A phone call later and they were holding a time-slot for us as we headed over. The whole thing took maybe an hour from start to finish, and the little guy was home before bedtime!
It was a game changer.
That was years ago. Fortunately, nursemaids elbow is the kind of thing that kids outgrow, and so those urgent visits pretty much came to a halt.
But when PhysicianOne Urgent Care asked us to partner with them to spread the word about their urgent care facilities across Connecticut, I jumped at the chance to introduce busy moms (and dads!) to this resource that truly saved our sanity.
So what exactly is “urgent care?” you may be wondering.
PhysicianOne Urgent Care offers high-quality, accessible urgent medical care on their patients’ terms – care that fits in with their busy lives and schedules (sounds pretty great, right?!). To borrow from their website, they “fill the gap between traditional hospital emergency rooms and doctor’s offices by offering walk-in care, longer hours and the immediate treatment of urgent, but not life-threatening emergencies.” They are open weekends and holidays. You don’t even need to make an appointment. And the cost is substantially less than an ER visit too. (Most insurances are accepted.)
With features like online check-in to hold your spot in line and alerts via text message when it’s your turn to be seen, PhysicianOne Urgent Care can minimize the wait in the waiting room. And with their Yale New Haven Health System affiliation, they offer access to exceptional specialists and primary care physicians, should their patients need a referral. Plus, with an affiliation like that, you can bet their providers are rigorously screened and highly qualified!
Currently, PhysicianOne Urgent care has 12 locations around Connecticut! (And more in MA and NY!)
And who better to give us a tour of their Glastonbury facility than the kiddo who introduced me to the urgent care concept in the first place!
So on a recent Tuesday we headed to the Glastonbury location at 2928 Main Street to find out more about their staff and their services.
Of course, kid-friendliness was tops on our radar that afternoon. I mean, quality medical care is important, but it’s only as good as the folks who are able to get our kiddos to cooperate for their exam and treatment, right?! Haha!
Fortunately, from the moment we walked in the door it was clear that kids are certainly catered to here. For starters, there is an area devoted to small kids in the waiting room. Of course, with the ability to reserve your time-slot ahead of time and receive real-time updates via text message, you probably won’t be waiting in here that long 🙂
It also didn’t take long for my little guy to notice the variety of treats.
We didn’t actually need any “urgent care” that day, but my little guy didn’t seem to mind playing the patient anyway 🙂
The first provider we met was Chimere, the medical assistant and site coordinator in Glastonbury. She showed the little guy how his ears get checked out…and let him have a go at it too!
Then he got a few more checks from nurse practitioner Joanne.
A little later we found ourselves in the x-ray room (that’s right! you can even get x-rays here!). Of course, we weren’t getting real x-rays that day, but the radiology technologist, Melanie, showed the little guy how everything works.
Despite the fact that it was a fake x-ray, the little guy still got a real prize! He was so proud of these stickers.
So proud, in fact, that we had to go show Dr. Jeannie Kenkare, one of the founders of PhysicianOne Urgent Care who (luckily!) happened to be in the office the day of our visit (total accident! no joke!).
It was great to chat with her a little bit about what inspired her to create this organization. Dr. Kenkare is a busy mom too–with three young kids–so she really understands the challenges that today’s parents face trying to fit in an urgent healthcare visit for their kids without totally throwing off the whole family’s schedule. PhysicianOne Urgent care is open 365 days a year, 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm on Mondays through Fridays and BOTH Saturdays and Sundays (and even holidays!) from 9am-5pm.
Back on the tour, we ducked into the “Procedure Room,” which is where they do stitches, etc. (Yes! You can get stitches for a minor cut here!)
By now you’re probably wondering, just what can I have treated at PhysicianOne Urgent Care?
Fortunately, I’ve got a handy dandy list for you! (You can download and print your own HERE.)
As you can see, there’s no need to head to the ER for broken bones or small lacerations. Splints and stitches are available here! Plus they treat a variety of common illnesses like strep, bronchitis and the flu. No need to wait until morning for an appointment with your pedi when your child is miserable right now.
Some other things that make PhysicianOne Urgent Care a smart choice for families:
- They will see infants! That’s not always the case with some other urgent care centers that will only see children as young as 2. It’s such a relief to have the option to have your baby seen by a medical professional after hours rather than have to wait until your pediatrician’s office opens the next day. No one wants to see their child be miserable until morning.
- Flu Shots! In Connecticut, kids ages 5 and up (and their grownups!) can get their flu shot at PhysicianOne Urgent Care. Get more info here.
- Physicals for school, camp and sports! If you need to get your kiddo’s paperwork done in a jiffy, bring your medical forms to PhysicianOne Urgent Care where they can get this check-up at a time that works with everyone’s schedule.
- Don’t forget about yourself! As parents, our health is important too. We shouldn’t have to suffer through symptoms because we’re too busy taking care of our families. PhysicianOne Urgent Care makes it easy to be seen by a healthcare professional at times that you aren’t otherwise needed as a homework tutor, taxicab driver, short order cook, or cheering squad.
Whether it’s a bean in the ear at bedtime or a broken arm on the playground, urgent care facilities are a parent’s best friend! They save you time. They save you money. And they save your sanity.
Still have questions? Check out PhysicianOne Urgent Care’s helpful FAQ’s page!
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