Child's Urgent Care

4 Ways to Make Your Child’s Urgent Care Experience Better

Child’s urgent care experiences tend to be pretty rough. Typically, they aren’t a fan of doctor’s offices in the first place. With the extra pressure, things only get worse. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make their experience better. As it turns out, there are a few things that we can do for them, as well.

4 Ways to Make Your Child’s Urgent Care Experience Better

At urgent care centers like Rapid Med, we’re more than aware of the fear and anxiety that children can feel. Medical clinics are a frightening thing for children, so making them comfortable is very important. Children should receive the care that they deserve, and feel open to receiving and asking for that care. If children can’t be comfortable at the doctor’s office, they might avoid them as an adult.

Hospital anxiety can be difficult to deal with in adults, and it’s not much easier with children. Luckily, most doctors are aware of this and most parents are, too. If your child is experiencing hospital anxiety, you need to understand where the fear is coming from. Generally, it’s one of four issues: they fear the pain, they fear separation, they fear the doctor, or they fear the unknown. Each of these fears needs to be dealt with in their own way, but each is relatively simple.

#1: Fear of the Pain

Child's Urgent CareThe fear of pain is one of the most difficult fears to deal with, because, frankly, it isn’t unreasonable. If the child is of elementary or middle school age, it is especially plausible. Visits to a doctor often involve getting shots at that age, and not even adults like those. Unfortunately, a child fearing pain is very valid.

Because of that, it’s hard to defeat the fear. When trying to comfort someone, you can usually show them the fallacy in the fear. When the fear is valid, things get much more difficult.

Therefore, the best way to deal with the fear is to not attack the train of thought but to encourage it to keep going. We know that adults are less scared of pain, but that doesn’t mean that they enjoy it anymore. Adults have simply learned to comprehend that a moment of intense pain can prevent more pain in the long term.

Sometimes, children aren’t given the credit they deserve. They can learn to understand this, which helps ease a child’s urgent care visits immensely. Simply having a conversation with the child about what they can expect and why they’re getting treatment can get rid of not only the fear of pain but any of the fears they might be feeling.

When fear is reasonable, it can be reasoned through.

#2: Fear of Separation

In younger children, separation anxiety is the major cause of hospital anxiety.

This fear often comes from rumors that their parents might leave the exam room. Without parents nearby, the child may feel lost or worry about what could happen. It’s incredibly common and easy to understand. Parents are the guardian, the protector. Without the protector, something bad might happen.

What we all know is that your child’s urgent care visit isn’t time off for the protector. You’ll be by their side the entire time, there to make sure that everything is okay. The best way to handle separation anxiety before entering the exam room is to remind your child that you will be with them. They might not know or might worry that you’re lying. However, they will understand eventually.

If you do have to leave the room for any reason, you should first make sure that they are comfortable with the doctor. If you can warm up the transition, it will be much easier for the child.

#3: Fear of the Doctor

Something that might hinder making a child comfortable with a doctor is if the child is afraid of the doctor themselves. In the eyes of children, doctors are absolutely frightening. Of course, they’ll soon learn that they aren’t monsters.

Quelling this fear isn’t entirely the burden of the parents. When it comes to making your child’s urgent care experience the best it can be, most doctors are ready to help calm them down. They see children all the time and learn how to talk to them. Most doctors are great with children, and normally it only takes a conversation to warm them up.

Parents can help, too, though. If your child is scared of the doctor, try to engage positively with them. Ask questions and attempt to develop a connection. If you’re a little scared of the doctor, try not to show it. If the child sees that you’re comfortable, they will follow suit.

#4: Fear of the Unknown

Another common reason that a child’s urgent care visit turns into a panic attack is a fear of the unknown. A fear that they might have something much worse than they think, or even that they might be dying. This is often born of the information that children have about illness: they know that disease can kill you, but they don’t know what those look like.

The best thing you can do in this case is to talk to them. Ask what they’re afraid of. Ask why they’re afraid of that. Learn what their thought process is like, and show them why it isn’t rational. Assure them that everything will be okay.

Because everything will be okay. Your child’s urgent care visit doesn’t have to be a panic attack for them or for you. Hospital anxiety is commonly had, and commonly beaten. Don’t let the worry worry you.

Rapid Med Team
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