A Visit to Urgent Care

Visiting the doctor’s office has never been a very fun event for our boys, especially Damion. The waiting to be seen, the checks for height and weight and especially having anything put into his ears always comes with a lot of resistance. There are a lot of sensory aspects involved with even the most basics of checkups that he pushes back on. But the good thing we have going for us is the routine part. Thankfully we don’t have to go to the doctor often, but he is familiar with the set-up of our pediatrician, and in turn our regular pediatrician is familiar with Damion and the struggles he will generally have during his visit. But sometimes life throws you an unexpected day which requires a change to routine and why we found ourselves visiting an urgent care instead of our regular family pediatrician.

Damion has a tendency to pick and chew at his nails and cuticles, an issue that alone or possibly alongside an infected hangnail caused a nasty infection on his thumb. For the most part when he has any issues of pain like this, he is good at notifying me, but he also tends to be a bit hyposensitive to pain meaning that he doesn’t have as large of a reaction as most kids would when he does have a boo-boo. In this particular instance he did not notify me, likely causing it to get to the state it was in. Instead, I got a call from his aid at school telling us his thumb looked pretty infected. I weighed the idea of taking him out of school either that same day or the next morning but decided that we would try another route as I prefer to minimize his school absences as much as possible. So, I decided to give a local urgent care a try instead.


I have had mixed experiences with urgent cares for myself in the past but was hopeful this time around since this seemed like a fairly clear-cut appointment that would most likely leave us only needing an antibiotic prescription of some kind. I selected the newly built Well Now located in Sidney, Ohio since our pharmacy is also located in Sidney and we were hoping to walk away with a prescription that same night. Since wait times are always a struggle for us, I decided to go to the website ahead of time to see if they offered any type of preregistration versus just walking in for the appointment. Thankfully they did! Juggling all other scheduled activities for the night we were able to snag an appointment time at 6:40pm.

We finished a bit early with our other kids’ practices and I arrived about 20 minutes before our set appointment time. They had a text option that said we could text that we had arrived but wait in the car (an option that is always a plus for my impatient child). We were notified to come in for our appointment around 6:45. I was very pleased with how on-time everything seemed, but that was because I thought that waiting in the car was the whole wait…


Once going in I paid the copay and then was told to sit in the waiting room until we were called back. I was pleased to find that they offered complimentary snacks, coffee, and even slushies! A very nice touch that I was not expecting and did help our wait go a bit smoother as Damion LOVES slushies. They also had a small waiting room to the side that had a Pac-man machine to help pass the time. I was very pleased with all the extra additions they offered.


Unfortunately, I was not pleased with the wait. Between the waiting room and then the additional wait in the patient room we totaled over an hour before we were seen by the doctor. I still do not understand why they act like you can wait in your car and then call you in for more waiting. Why couldn’t we have done more of the wait in the car before being called in? I was pleased with how well Damion did overall. He was definitely in a great mood for the evening, which helped tremendously. The only part he even fussed about during the whole visit was getting his ears checked. He let the doctor examine his finger completely without any pushback. I imagine the long wait would have felt much more taxing had he been in a different mood, but fate must have known I needed a bit of a break.

We were prescribed the antibiotic and went on our way feeling confident that the 45-minute time window before the pharmacy closed would give us enough time to get the prescription filled. And it would have been enough time if the doctor had sent over the correct prescription. The pharmacist caught that the doctor had mistakenly prescribed an injectable and not an oral medication. The pharmacist called the clinic and the doctor said that he would send over the correct prescription, unfortunately it didn’t get sent over before the pharmacy closed. The correct prescription did thankfully make its way to the pharmacy the next day and I was able to pick it up with another out of my way trip to town.

So, the verdict overall on the urgent care visit with my autistic child….it was ok in a pinch. Definitely a few unexpected perks with the offerings they had in the waiting room. But service, procedures and wait times still leave me knowing that I will always try to schedule with our pediatrician before reverting to going back to the urgent care. But to look at it from the bright side, we were able to get him seen without missing school, and I was so pleased to see how well he did visiting a new place, even with all the waiting required. Damion has never cared much for the doctor or for waiting of any kind, so this was a huge development for him. I am hopeful that his improved demeanor for this visit was a true showing of his progress and not just us catching him on a good day, because if this same scenario would have taken place even a year ago, I think our visit would have been a much different experience overall.