By: Stephanie Ryan
With an official last day of summer at the end of September, it seems hard to give up our summer vacation so early this year. However, this year will be an exciting one! It is the first year that all FIVE of my children will be in an educational school program. My soon-to-be nine-year-old is off to third grade (how did that happen?), my six-year-old is headed to first grade, and my five-year-old is starting kindergarten. Three Ryan boys on the bus together and in the same elementary school—they are SO excited, and I may or may not be a little worried. Fingers crossed; I don’t get any calls from the principal! My three-year-old twins are off to nursery school and will attend two days a week. This will be special for us because I also teach at the school they are attending, and we are on the same schedule. I want to soak up as much time together with these two as I can, because, yes, time does go by so fast.
While the return of school routine is nice, some of the extras that come with it aren’t always easy. Along with my husband’s busy work season, we will have to incorporate sports practices and games, golf lessons, dance class, religious education, and any other after school activities that are added to the calendar—all while juggling daily homework assignments, studying for tests, dinner, nightly baths, and bedtime. Never mind having a routine doctor’s appointment or a sick child or parent for that matter. Anything that is “unplanned” can easily send us into an unorganized mess.
My circle of friends and I all gather regularly to talk about the joys of parenting or the trials and tribulations of parenting, as I like to call it, especially in these uncertain COVID times. I rely on the support and guidance from our doctors, and I constantly share their advice with my friends. I never imagined living in a time like this, but I feel that the measures our pediatric office has in place have truly kept my family at ease during the past year and a half. Open lines of communication are important to me when it came time to choose a pediatrician for my first-born child. And, while I didn’t realize then how much I would rely on my pediatrician, I appreciate the added conveniences our office provides.
My friends have different experiences. Many of them have resorted to regular visits to urgent care-type offices, which completely shocks me! They use these “walk in” locations not only for illnesses, but well visits, vaccines, and even sports physicals. They complain about never seeing the same physician, and the constant turnover of the staff they encounter. All complaints can be resolved if their pediatric office had adopted a virtual healthcare platform.
THE CONVENIENCE OF VIRTUAL CARE
Just like the convenience of having my groceries delivered to my doorstep, or those Amazon deliveries (Shhh, I may have a slight shopping addiction!), I have a new love for virtual healthcare; specifically, having the Anytime Pediatrics App right on my phone and at my fingertips. The simple navigation and setup allow me to connect to our doctor right from the comfort of my own home. It has been a lifesaver for us, multiple times. We’ve had many virtual visits with our doctor at all hours of the week and have used telehealth when we thought our children may have shown COVID symptoms, and when they have had fevers, rashes, and even when one of my children needed stitches! The doctor was able to easily guide us through the next steps of what to do and where to go. We’ve also had surgical follow-up appointments virtually, and even meetings with our doctor about school and sports physical paperwork. Not having to drag all the kids out of school and out of the house is a huge convenience for me – and even when an issue may warrant an in-office visit – anything that can be done is virtually completed at home, so we are fast tracked upon arrival, and our in-office experience is super speedy.
As I sit back and reminisce about the awesome memories we made this summer, I smile, knowing that my children are in the best of hands at their school. So many amazing new memories are ahead of them, waiting to be made. Behind those masks are the most loving teachers (like me), administrators, and staff, ready to take on the challenge of a new school year. Despite all the continued uncertainties in the world, our children’s health, safety, and happiness will always be my number one priority. We are forever grateful to the healthcare providers that work endless hours and are easily accessible virtually and in-person to tend to our most precious treasures. The conveniences provided are valued more than they will ever know, by the many busy parents and guardians in their practices, especially during back-to-school and germy season!
The Anytime Pediatrics after-hours care solution helps your practice stay connected with your patients and their families during evenings, weekends, and holidays. To learn more about the benefits of After-Hours Nurse Triage, contact us today!
Author’s Bio: Stephanie Ryan was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She currently resides in Wantagh, NY with her husband, Patrick, and their five children – Jack, Parker, Brandon, Luca, and Gabriella. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Education at Long Island University at CW Post and teaching for a few years, she changed careers and worked in healthcare administration. While she thoroughly enjoyed her career in the corporate world, Stephanie decided that her children needed her with them more regularly and she became a stay-at-home mom. Most recently, she decided to return to the classroom part-time at the preschool where her children attend. She is also sharing stories from life raising five children here with you.