Children can get sick at any time, including at night or over the weekends, when your GP is not available. In this case, you need an after-hours GP who can come to your home, diagnose your child and provide medication. Whether it's a severe allergy, a stomach bug or a respiratory condition, you need a reliable doctor who can offer immediate treatment. For this reason, it's essential to have a home doctor service at hand that you can call during such emergencies. As you look around for a home doctor service, here are four crucial things that you should pay attention to.
Extensive Paediatric Experience
When you need an after-hours GP for your little ones, it's essential to find one who possesses extensive paediatric knowledge and experience. If possible, get a paediatrician as your after-hours GP. This is crucial in determining the quality of care you get at home. It also prevents cases of misdiagnosis, which can worsen the condition. Therefore, before you enlist the service, ask about the doctor's experience in handling medical issues in kids.
Home medical services shouldn't vary from in-office consultations. The doctor should conduct a detailed consultation to diagnose and manage the condition accurately. Unfortunately, most after-hours doctors carry out short consultations that may result in poor care and further management with your GP. When choosing a doctor, take note of this.
Do they take the time to assess the patient's history and underlying conditions? How do they ensure lengthy consultations don't translate into long wait times? For example, a doctor can conduct a consultation while on the move to ensure they get enough info about the patient without extending the wait times.
Short Wait Times
Handling a sick child at night can cause a lot of anxiety. The last thing you want is for the doctor to take two or more hours to get to your home. Therefore, it's crucial to find a home doctor service that prides itself in ensuring short wait times for patients. At most, the doctor should take an hour to get to your home. To avoid long wait times, find a doctor who is located close to your home as opposed to one who lives out of town.
Critical Equipment and Medication
Some conditions may require the use of specialised medical equipment. Therefore, find an after-hours doctor who possesses vital equipment for emergency response. For example, if your child needs medical oxygen, the doctor can promptly provide it as you wait for an ambulance. Similarly, find a doctor who carries a range of medications for different conditions. They can prescribe and administer the meds without requiring you to do pharmacy runs in the middle of the night.
An after-hours doctor can take away the anxiety resulting from dealing with medical emergencies in children. Use these parameters to vet your doctor to ensure your child gets immediate and quality care when they need it.