They say bad things happen in threes. Fortunately, for Nancy Kolb's family, two is the magic number.
Both of her kids ended up at TriHealth Priority Care in Mason, just two weeks apart.
A Backyard Accident: Hannah Needs an X-Ray
“It was Sept. 19, a Friday, and my son and daughter were playing outside. The grass was getting wet and Hannah slipped and fell. She put her arm out to stop herself, so I think she landed on her elbow on the grass,” Nancy recalls.
Nancy iced 9-year-old Hannah’s arm and, since Hannah's pain was relatively minimal, suggested Hannah sleep on it and see how she felt in the morning. Hannah woke up, still complaining of discomfort. She had a soccer game that afternoon, so Nancy decided to nix the game and head to the doctor. But, there was one problem: it was a Saturday morning. “Normally, my pediatrician’s office does have office hours, but I didn’t want to mess with that because I knew they’d say she needed an X-ray,” Nancy explains.
As a supervisor within TriHealth Corporate Health, Nancy knew about Priority Care and how all three locations are open on weekends and have on-site X-ray equipment. So she and Hannah headed to the Mason location.
Matthew Birkle MD, an emergency medicine specialist, assessed Hannah and performed an X-ray, which, fortunately, came back clear. In fact, Dr. Birkle read the X-ray right then and there, as did a radiologist at Bethesda North Hospital, thanks to secure electronic medical image-sharing. Dr. Birkle still splinted Hannah’s arm just to be safe. “They say sometimes if there’s an injury in the growth plate area, it doesn’t show up on the X-ray,” Nancy says. Hannah wore the splint for the next five days and was ordered to refrain from any physical activity.
Two Weeks Later: Round Two
Then, a few days after Hannah’s appointment, Nancy received a phone call from Hannah’s primary care doctor’s office to follow up. (Hannah's pediatrician is Victoria Richburg-Whitfield MD FAAP, of Queen City Physicians – Butler County Pediatrics.) "The appointment is still connected (through electronic medical records) because, in our case, the pediatrician did a follow-up call," Nancy notes.
Hannah didn’t have any issues and healed well. Her 7-year-old brother, Adam, on the other hand, found himself in a similar situation just weeks later.
Around noon, on Oct. 2, Nancy received an unexpected phone call from the school nurse: Adam had fallen off a piece of playground equipment and landed on his left arm.
Nancy immediately left work and headed to his school. By the time she arrived, the nurse had already splinted his arm. “It was a Thursday afternoon, so I played the same scenario in my head,” Nancy recalls. She knew Adam would likely need an X-ray, “so I decided I’d just go straight to Priority Care.”
This time, it was Arland Esch DO, a family medicine specialist, who performed the evaluation. He ordered an X-ray immediately and consulted with Nancy and Adam minutes after the scan. The X-ray confirmed Adam had a break near the elbow, so Dr. Esch splinted Adam’s arm and gave Nancy a referral for an orthopedic doctor. Nancy scheduled an appointment with Paul Gangle MD, of the TriHealth Orthopedic and Spine Institute, for the following afternoon. Dr. Gangle put Adam’s arm in a loose cast, as his arm was still swollen from his body's initial response to the injury. Once his arm shrank to it's normal size, he was fitted for a second cast, which he wore for two weeks.
Now, six weeks later, Adam’s back to 100 percent – and he’s thrilled he doesn’t have to sit on the sidelines during recess anymore. "That was probably the hardest part," Nancy laughs.
Priority Care: Nancy Explains Why It's Worth It
While no parent ever wants his or her child to need medical care, Nancy says Priority Care made what could have been two stressful situations much easier. “In this instance, the onsite X-ray was a huge benefit – along with the fact that it’s read locally by the doctor as well as a radiologist at Bethesda North,” Nancy points out. She also appreciated not having to schedule an appointment. “With Priority Care, you just show up.”