Did you know that May 6-12 is National Nurses Week? Nurses have played a vital and essential role in the healthcare industry, as they interact with patients sometimes more often than doctors do.
The importance of nurses in pediatric urgent care centers also holds true. Because pediatric urgent care centers function a little differently than standard urgent care centers, we wanted to touch on the important role that nurses have in a pediatric urgent care setting.
When it comes to pediatric urgent care centers, there is a lot to take into consideration, even the staffing model. For standard urgent care centers, we initially advise owners to hold off hiring nurses and instead utilize medical assistants until they see a higher volume of patients.
However, because of the unique nature of pediatric urgent care centers, we recommend that owners bring on a pediatric-trained nurse from the very beginning. While MA’s are still necessary, nurses can take many of the burdens off physicians in the regular workday because of their specific skill set.
One skill set is being able to perform more duties than an MA can. Because nurses are legally able to do much more on their license than an MA is allowed to do, nurses end up playing a large role in pediatric urgent care. Whether it is administering various injections, taking vitals, or making phone calls, nurses will be able to take on more responsibilities and jump in when needed.
Another skill set that pediatric nurses will have is determining if an issue can be handled through a phone call or if the child needs to be brought in to the clinic to be seen. Most parents need assurance on whether a child needs to be seen by a physician or if advice can be provided over the phone. During this initial screening, nurses rely on their training and knowledge to determine what would be best for the child. While these tasks may seem small, they can add up to time away from the patients in the clinic for the provider if there is not a staff member who can help evaluate a patient’s needs.
In addition to having the right skill set for a pediatric urgent care setting, nurses who have been trained in a pediatric setting also have the right attitude and outlook when a patient comes in. Not only are staff members dealing with a sick child, but they are also dealing with the family. Most family members are afraid and worried when they come in, and if you do not have a staff member who knows how to interact with families in these situations, it can make matters worse.
By having experience dealing with families of a sick patient, nurses will be able to help calm nerves and gain trust quicker, helping physicians in the long run.
Whether you are looking to start a pediatric urgent care or thinking about ways to enhance your center, we believe that nurses are important to an urgent care and play a significant role in the health of patients.
Are you thinking about starting a pediatric urgent care? Let the experts in urgent care help you! Contact us today for a free consultation.