MONROE – Union County parents now have another place to turn in their time of stress and need thanks to the opening of the Carolinas HealthCare Children’s Urgent Care–Union.
The facility, at 3193 U.S. 74 W. in Monroe, is a project coordinated in part by the Carolinas HealthCare System Levine Children’s Hospital in uptown Charlotte and will serve patients 18 years old and younger with board-certified pediatricians. The urgent care began treating patients on Monday, Jan. 20.
“It is very important to continue to provide access to (the) Carolinas HealthCare System,” said Stephen Jones, vice president of Carolinas HealthCare System Medical Group’s urgent care division, especially given the growth in Union County in recent years and the lack of urgent care options in the area until recently. CHS also expanded hours at an urgent care in Indian Trail recently to support the need in the community.
The 4,500 square-foot children’s urgent care will treat patients who have an illness or injury that is not life threatening but can’t wait for an appointment with their primary care physician – such as sore throats, earaches, bronchitis, colds, flu and upset stomach, sprains, strains, fractures and lacerations and burns – things many parents with young children are likely to deal with on occasion. Children’s Urgent Care-Union also will help patients find a primary doctor if they don’t already have one.
The clinic has five examination rooms and two treatment rooms for injuries and treatment such as sutures or using a nebulizer. The examination rooms can be used as a treatment room, as well, and all of the rooms have the same tools and equipment as would be found in an adult facility, including blood pressure cuffs sized for a child.
The “state-of-the-art” facility will have digital X-rays and electronic patient charts, and Jones said the move toward being “chartless” will allow for better care coordination with other facilities. Digital X-rays will give the technicians the opportunity to view the scans immediately and allow them to expedite the time it usually takes for X-rays to get to the health care provider who typically performs a second read. The X-ray machine is designed for children and emits less radiation than a normal machine.
Doctors and nurses also can communicate the needs of patients more easily through using timers and various colored buttons. Scarlet Nystrom, clinical director for CHS, said the timers tell the nurses how long a patient has been in a room while the buttons indicate if the patient is ready for X-rays, laboratory work, medication or discharge. There also is a laboratory centrally located in the facility as well as a nurse’s station that is situated to allow the nurses to be able to look into each room.
Children’s Urgent Care-Union will be open Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Jones said the long hours will allow parents to skip going to the emergency room when they need urgent care and choose a lower cost option. For accidents and injuries that occur after 10 p.m., parents can travel to the Carolinas HealthCare Urgent Care-Union West, a facility that recently extended its care to 24 hours, at 6030 U.S. 74 W. in Indian Trail.
Carolinas HealthCare System now offers a wait time website and mobile app for parents to view how long it will take before their child is seen. View the wait times online at www.carolinashealthcare.org/body.cfm?id=6786&action=listwaittimes&locationType=UrgentCares. Find more information on how to download the mobile app at www.carolinashealthcare.org/carolinas-mobile-app. Find more information about Carolinas HealthCare Children’s Urgent Care-Union at www.carolinashealthcare.org.