Anyone who has children can understand how helpless you feel when your little one is sick. Perhaps it is high fever that won’t come down with a lukewarm bath or an ear infection that is keeping you both up in the middle of the night.
I had the unfortunate experience of taking my son to a children’s hospital ER over the weekend, (yes, he’s fine now as his “problem” has been resolved) and waited 6 hours in the middle of the night for tests only to be sent home without a diagnosis.
As we sat in the waiting room for a good hour around midnight, parents with children came and went. To my left was a woman who brought her entire family (including another adult), and called a nurse over who had come out looking for the patient next in line. She mused that her daughter had been seen by triage and was told she most likely had a mosquito bite upon her stomach. She then asked when she would be seen; putting two and two together and figuring out that a bug bite would continue to get bounced down the list as more important cases came in throughout the night. The nurse calmly told her to wait and that it would be useless to leave since she was already there.
There are two issues I found rather odd and frustrating in this scenario. My kids have had the usual slate of maladies associated with childhood. While I may rush my child to an ER should she have the croup and couldn’t draw a breath, or a fever spiked over my comfort zone and would not come down with alternating Tylenol and Motrin and a lukewarm bath; I would never bring my child in for a common bug bite unless she suffered an allergic reaction. Even before then, I’d douse her with some Benadryl and unless she couldn’t breathe or was swollen like a marshmallow; I’d call my doctor.
I don’t understand why this mother found it necessary to drag her whole family down to an emergency room in the middle of the night so that her daughter could be looked upon by a tired doctor and given some anti-itch cream.
Furthermore, when she was brought into the triage area, I am curious as to why the hospital found it necessary to make her wait. I guess that had I been the nurse, I would have ripped a doctor away, told him to confirm the diagnosis of a bug bite, give her the cream and send her home. I don’t suppose I’d last too long at said facility.
So you wonder why your insurance premiums are going up? This is a fine example. Parents: Please know when to take your children to an emergency room. Stop using your neighborhood hospital as your own private doctor. Find a free clinic if you do not have proper insurance. There are plenty of other options, here. Doctors: Please dedicate someone to send frivolous cases that come in through triage, back home, as to keep the patients with more serious injuries or sicknesses revolving in timely manner.
I hesitate to even mention that the woman and her family left without paying. How do I know this? They didn’t even grab our insurance information until we were settled in the room with a bed. By the way they handle the influx of families, I’m wondering if they aren’t specifically set up the way they are because, Ms. Bug Bite has a tendency of bolting before actually being seen by a doctor.
I don’t know what makes me more sick to my stomach.