October 04, 2011

School and Appointments

Trying to schedule yearly checkups (medical, dental, vision) is a huge pain this year. No one seems to care that if my daughters aren't scheduled after school, then they're likely going to miss at least a half day of school. I find it extremely frustrating that very few of our provides have family friendly hours.
When I scheduled our annual appointments with our pediatrician, I was told the latest I could bring all four of them in was 2pm. My other option? Take each of them in on different days. I'm already in need of more hours in a day, scheduling four different days of appointments isn't going to work. I tried to schedule the appointments on days they don't have school. The doctor doesn't see patients on Fridays (must be nice) and is off the entire week of Thanksgiving (not that I expected her to be available, but I was really trying to find a non-school day). 
One of my daughters has a followup appointment with her physical therapist. Since we're no longer seeing the therapist on a weekly basis, we were basically stuck with whatever was left. (I get it. The weekly appointments should take priority). However, once again this particular provider doesn't see patients on Fridays. The latest appointment they could find for her was 2pm, so I have to pull all four girls out of school by 1pm to get to the appointment.
I actually stopped scheduling appointments with our opthalmologist (Blogger is telling me I spelled that word wrong, but I looked it up, so I don't know what gives) for this very reason. Once my daughters were no longer considered high risk from their premature births, we were relegated to seeing the doctor's assistant. Not a big deal.... but she only saw patients two days a week and only in the mornings. Considering preschool was only three hours a day, I didn't feel it was fair to ask me to have them miss a day of school for a routine checkup. I asked if we could see the opthalmologist, since her schedule was more flexible. I was told they would "prefer" to have the doctor only see the "priority" cases. Um, ok. So my daughters are healthy and suddenly not a priority? I switched to a different practice that gladly offers after school appointments and we are seen by the doctor.
I know when I was in school I had to leave early every now and then to go to the orthodontist, dentist, etc. Heck, by high school I was purposely making my appointments so I would miss a little school. But when you consider that many parents are also trying to juggle work schedules around these appointments, it sure would be nice to feel like an effort is being made to accommodate everyone. Yes, doctors and their staff have families, too. Would it be so hard, though, to have one night a week of extended hours or one Saturday a month where you'll see patients? 


Faith said...

I totally agree with you! When you are in a profession which needs you to cater for peoples express needs so often, it seems less helpful when you only work certain days/hours and thus, doesn't it kind of defeat their "purpose of life"? That's like, "Yes, I am a real estate agent, but you can only contact me between 9 - 11 on every second Thursday." What gives, seriously?

Quadmama said...

I do have to say, though, one time we had a terrible bug going through the house and our pediatrician gave me her cell number and her home number. That's why I haven't tried to find an office with better hours!

MaryAnne said...

Our dentist works Saturdays, but getting an appointment is incredibly challenging! You have to book over a year in advance! Still, it's very helpful to have as an option!

Quadmama said...

A year? Wow! I feel bad for people who make an appointment and then scheduling conflicts get in the way!

Stephanie said...

I used to work at a dental office- we stayed open late on Wednesdays and people would complain that it was their church night :( You can't please everyone but I bet if you search hard enough, you can probably find some providers that have better hours. Although, beware because they do fill up FAST! On the days school was out, we had not just students who needed appointments but also teachers and other school employees, parents who were taking off the day because their kids were off and other people who were off work for the holiday. All vying for 14 appointments. And we all wanted to be off with our own kids too! I'm sure none of this is helpful... but just throwing it out there.

Quadmama said...

It's a toss up. I either find a provider who has better hours but maybe not the same bedside manner, or a great provider with icky hours. Oh well. I guess if it's only a few times a year we'll manage!

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