I’ll remember the day that the first “minute clinic” opened near my house as one of the happiest of my life. When you have young kids, trips to the doctor are inevitable and frequent. And while we had a pediatrician I adored, sometimes if it looks like pinkeye, itches like pinkeye, and infects playgroups on the scale of conquistadors on cruises, well then, it’s probably just pinkeye. Except that with my doctor’s office, it was the same drawn out procedure as if the kid had a crazy rash or needed shots: call, make an appointment guaranteed to be at an inconvenient time, drag all the kids in, wait to see someone, wait to be told that it is indeed pinkeye and then drive to the pharmacy to pick up the magical return-to-preschool eye drops. But with the clinics – often found conveniently in other stores I shopped at – the whole ordeal was boiled down to a 15-minute non-event that even landed me in the same spot where I needed to go to pick up the eye drops anyhow! J-O-Y.
In the years since I’ve used quickie healthcare many, many times. If it was something serious I’d always hustle the kids or myself to the doc but I’ve been amazed at how much of the day-to-day stuff I’ve been able to outsource to these clinics. Take, for instance, this latest back-to-school rush. Not only are we in a new place but one of schools’ fave registration tricks is to require an insane amount of paperwork relating to the child’s health. We needed certifications of health, immunization boosters and sports checkups. I called various ped clinics only to find everyone was booked out for months.
So when Walgreens contacted me about their new in-store healthcare clinics (in select locations), it was like finding out Arrested Development has new episodes again. I called ahead to make sure they could do what we needed but no appointment was necessary. We drove 10 minutes, popped in and got my son his 6th-grade booster shot:
Love the face? The board-certified Nurse Practitioner told him to “just relax, don’t tighten any of your muscles” and apparently this is how he interpreted that! My son said it was the least painful shot he’s ever had and he loved how fun and casual the “nurse-dude” was.
We also got our school forms signed and even all got our blood pressure screened, for funzies. (Wherein we learned that higher altitudes do increase your blood pressure! Test and a science lesson, all in one.) Then we picked up some of our meds, deodorant for my boys who are weirdly starting to stink like men and Jelly Bean even got my husband to buy her a box of My Little Pony band-aids just by batting her baby blues at him. (I’d say he’s a sucker but I recently got her a unicorn t-shirt just because of the hilarious way she said “But I wuv horny horsies!”) We were in and out in under 20 minutes and even had time to play at the park afterwards. Oh and did I mention this all happened at 7 o’clock at night? The clinics are open seven days and weeknights, no extra charge. Plus they take most insurance!
Don’t get me wrong – regular doctors definitely have their place and I’ve already scheduled my kids’ check-ups at a new pediatrician’s office where I hope we’ll be very happy and build a relationship of trust and care for my kids. And we practically have a punch-pass for the ER, considering how many times Son #2 has had to get stitches. But I foresee a lot of trips back to the Walgreens healthcare clinic as well. In the past we’ve used quickie clinics for stitch removal, strep throat, ear infections, flu mist and even my husband’s cholesterol screening so for this busy mama it’s perfect to have this option so close by too. Because Jelly Bean is starting preschool this year and you know what that means: pinkeye.
What do you think about these new quickie clinics? Have you ever tried one? Or do they make you kinda nervous?
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P.S. This is day 2 in the GFE week of giveaways! Don’t forget to enter to win the free copy of T25! And tune in tomorrow for another awesome give!