Calling Instructions

Before you call:

Take note of:

  • Your child’s allergies to medications (if any)
  • Any medications or other treatments your child is presently receiving
  • Immunizations (shots) recently received

Leaving a message for our triage nurses:

Please provide the following information at every call:

  • Your child's name (spelling the last name)
  • Date of birth
  • An unblocked telephone number with area code
  • Your child's primary office
  • Your local pharmacy’s phone number
  • A brief history of the problem:
    • Give the most important information first and try to be brief. For example, "My child has had a fever of 101 under the arm and vomiting six times a day for two days."
    • Report any chronic illnesses your child has, such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease; any allergies or immunizations (shots) recently received; and any medications or other treatments your child is presently receiving.

A parent's intuition is very important.

  • If you feel very nervous about your child's condition, say so.
  • If you believe that your child looks well despite his present symptoms, report that also.

Waiting for a call back:

For urgent messages:

  • A triage nurse should return your call within 2 hours.
  • If your child is experiencing a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911

For non-urgent messages:

  • A triage nurse should return your call within 2 to 4 hours.
  • Please try to avoid return calls until that time has elapsed; our nurses answer messages in the order they were received.

At the completion of your call, you should understand:

  • The most likely cause of your child's condition.
  • Which medicines or treatments should be given.
  • What signs or symptoms to watch for.
  • When, and under what circumstances, you should call the office back.
  • If you don't understand the instructions given, ask to have them repeated.

If you are instructed to come to the office or to go to the emergency room:

  • Obtain travel instructions before leaving home.
  • When traveling in a car, drive slowly and carefully, and use a restraining car seat for your child.
  • If you feel too nervous to drive, call a friend or a taxi.
  • If an ambulance is needed, the nurse may be able to call it for you.