Long waits at the doctor’s office have, unfortunately, become somewhat expected. You are told to arrive at a certain time but still find yourself waiting well after your appointment time. We understand this is frustrating, and rightly so. Covid-19 has changed a lot of how we do things, some adding to wait times and some hopefully making things better. Instead of waiting in the office, we’re having to bring patients in from their cars. This usually adds a few minutes of extra time that wasn’t there before. We’re trying to streamline checking weights and temperatures and have any insurance card copying or forms completed while you’re waiting on the provider to come in. But even with all of this, you are still waiting.
We try to allot enough time for each patient when we make the schedules, but sometimes things happen. Maybe the patient ahead of you has showed up a few minutes late, so we’re late going in to see them and then subsequently you. A child throws up in car or won’t let the nurse check vital signs. All these happen, and that’s okay. Most of the time, though, the problem is that our patients are ready and on time but we providers are behind. Unexpected questions or problems have come up somewhere in the day ahead of you and you’re now having to wait. Sometimes a mild cough and fever turns out to be pneumonia, and a patient needs to get a chest x-ray or a breathing treatment done in the office unexpectedly. Maybe a new mom has lots of questions, because being a first-time parent is a hard and stressful job and we all want reassurance that everything is alright. More times than I care to count, I’ve had to call the children’s hospital about getting a patient to the emergency room or admitted to the hospital. And rarely I have to have the worst discussions possible about a new diagnosis of diabetes or a concern for a serious illness. None of these are ever planned or expected, and all may impact the schedule of patients who are waiting in line.
Unfortunately, I may not be able to guarantee that your child is seen on time. What I can guarantee, though, is that I will take as much time as needed to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and discuss any concerns I have about your child’s health. It may take longer than either of us expect, but that’s okay. And I know my colleagues all feel the same. We at KPA strive to put our kids first. So, if you’re finding yourself waiting on us, please know that – once we come into that room – your child is the priority.