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Vacation-saving urgent care for a family and their travel plans

Headwaters helps parents and children during emergency injuries and unplanned family schedule changes.
Does it seem that family emergencies tend to happen at the most inconvenient times? This was what happened for Tabitha, mother of Garrus, when he fell on his arm badly enough to bring them to Headwaters’ Emergency Department (ED) – just a few days away from an out-of-country family vacation.

When Tabitha and Garrus arrived at the ED on a Tuesday afternoon, they were pleasantly surprised to be seen faster than what the real-time ED wait clock suggested. “I didn’t know about the digital wait clock until we arrived.  But it was the type of emergency where I wasn’t going to wait and check online for wait times before seeking medical attention. In the future, we would still come in first for immediate attention. It's nice to know the wait times in advance on the hospital website – as parents, we could have prepared activities and food for our son if it was a very long wait,” recalls Tabitha.

Normally, Garrus’ treatment would have taken multiple days and visits to the hospital. The initial x-rays could not determine if he had a true fracture, and Garrus would have been asked to return in a few days to reassess his condition.

However, given the family’s imminent travel plans and low severity of Garrus' injury, the health care team accommodated the family's personal schedule: Garrus was seen by Fracture Clinic physician Dr. Yardley and pre-emptively given a half cast, in order to have extra protection during their vacation. After the family returned from their trip – and thankfully, Garrus’ arm was healing well – the family came back for a follow-up visit and Robert was well enough to remove the cast.

"Garrus was a great patient, especially as a four-year-old who might find hospitals daunting. We know how important it is for our young patients and their parents to feel comfortable. Providing information and explanation for our treatment approach, while answering questions plays an important part of providing the best clinical outcomes,” says Dr. Yardley, who runs his Fracture Clinic in the Ambulatory Care wing of the hospital.

Tabitha compliments the staff from triage to treatment, “Everyone was really great. Our son can still be goofy despite being in pain, yet the nurses and doctors took his condition seriously, asking him why and where it hurts. I’ve known other parents who say that just because their kid wasn’t crying, they didn’t receive the same amount of care and attention – but Headwaters worked so well with him just as he is, being a kid.”