We are so excited to announce the return of well care to our Apex office.
Dear Favorite Patients:
For the past several weeks we at Cary, Fuquay-Varina, and Apex Pediatrics have been remaining flexible during the ongoing pandemic. We have been trying to anticipate the needs of our patients and our community in remaining open, available for checkups, concern visits, or telehealth visits. When this all began, we were pleased to have the flexibility of making one of ours an office where we saw patients with coughs and fevers, while keeping the remaining offices for well-care only. This has been helpful, but has also meant that hundreds of our patients in our Apex office have had to have their visits cancelled or moved to other offices.
As time has passed, and we have seen a dramatic drop in the number of truly sick patients in our office, we will be changing how we see patients in Apex. Those of you who go to Apex as your medical home know that our space there is like two distinct medical offices connected together with hallways. We have a lot of space there, with few connections between them. This weekend after our Saturday sick office is closed, we will be having industry professionals install hospital grade plastic between our “new” half, and our “old” half in Apex. Our entire office will be extensively and professionally cleaned.
The partition with plastic will create a full hallway in Apex on the “old” side with its own entrance, bathroom, multiple exam rooms, and a dedicated provider and nurse who will staff there all day long. Patients needing to be seen here will not be in any waiting room, and will be brought in directly from their car to an exam room by staff wearing masks. We would respectfully request you also wear masks if possible when you come in for your visit, and bring a minimal number of people with you. Once your visit is done, you will leave directly to your car.
On our “new” side, we will resume care as we have previously, with Dr. Steele, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Bowman, and our wonderful nurse practitioners Shana Bailey and Ali Groesser. This space will remain our checkup area, without sharing of staff or patients each day. It is our hope that by doing this, parents will remain confident that they can bring their children in to any of our offices for checkups, their yearly screenings, immunizations, and relationship building that we value as your medical home.
We also added some additional resources related to caring for your children during COVID-19. There is important information on emergency numbers, locations where children can get free meals, and opportunities to help others through this tough time. You can always visit our A-Z Guide for loads of other resources including how to apply for Medicaid and Nutrition Services.
Your doctors and nurse practitioners at Cary/Fuquay/Apex Pediatrics are here for you, not only for medical care, but as a source of reliable and sane information. We suggest you look at COVID-19 information from two perspectives.
The best way to stay healthy is by practicing good hand washing, remembering not to touch your face, and staying away from large gatherings. Take advantage of the nicer weather and get outdoors. If you or any one in your family is sick, stay home. When needed, cough into your elbow. If your child is sick, please call us.
For the time being, our Apex office will be seeing all the patients that are sick with fever or respiratory symptoms like cough. If you child has one of these complaints, then you will be asked to be seen in the Apex office. This will allow us to have both the Fuquay-Varina and Cary office to see our well patients.
If you child has a rash or other non-respiratory complaints, then they will be seen in Fuquay-Varina or Cary. We very much want to protect the children of our community, while at the same time allow us to provide care for those who are sick. We ask you to please not come to our Fuquay-Varina or Cary offices if you are sick or bring along siblings who may be sick.
We ask for understanding and patience as there may be some last minute cancelation of your children’s appointments so that we can continue to provide the very best and safest care to all of our patients. We encourage you to keep your scheduled well care appointments. Children still need to get physicals and the vaccines that protect them from illnesses much more serious than coronavirus. All of our offices have implemented procedures to keep you safe. We are following appropriate CDC recommendations. We are cleaning intensely and often.
We are here for you, our community, just as we have been since 1976, and we will continue to be here for you when this pandemic is over. Our providers and staff are taking this very seriously and will continue to be vigilant for our precious families.
So what exactly are we doing?
We are screening extensively for COVID-19 symptoms prior to scheduling our patients.
We are monitoring our staff daily, recording temperatures, and identifying potential symptoms.
Our Cary and Fuquay-Varina offices are designated as our “well” offices. This protection for our patients is key and helps provide a safer zone. NO ONE WITH COUGH OR FEVER IS ALLOWED IN THE DOORS. If you have these symptoms, you will be directed to our Apex location.
Beginning this week, all employees who have direct contact with patients in our well offices will be wearing a mask. This is to protect us from potential asymptomatic carriers. You may want prepare your younger children for this. For our sick office in Apex, you will see us in full PPE. Thank you to the many wonderful people and businesses who have donated PPE.
We are practicing social distancing so that no family should be within six feet of another family. We are also requesting that only one caregiver accompany their child to visits. The only exception to this is for our newborn and two-week-old visits.
We are excited to now be offering telehealth. If you have a concern that you feel can be handled virtually, we are more than happy to schedule that for you. Examples may include: medication checks, rashes, behavior concerns, quarantined families, etc. Our nurses are ready to help make that decision daily with you.
We are constantly updating our website with the latest information, sending out email newsletters like this, and posting on our social media sites. (If you don’t already follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you should!)
In short, stay home, stay safe, and if you do need to see us, we are here for you!
In the lists below you will find our recommendations for accurate and helpful resources.
What else can you do? Shut off the TV and give yourself and your children a break. When possible, keep their schedules normal. If your district is open, send them to school. Look for anxiety symptoms – such as moodiness, trouble sleeping and separation anxiety. Talk to your children about their fears. Reassure them. If you or your kids are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider looking at this simple but helpful tool from ImaginAction.
Anxiousness, sadness, and other mood and behavioral concerns seem to be on the rise in our community and across the country. We at Cary Pediatrics agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that screening for these issues is important at least once a year as part of a child’s annual physical. Research shows that addressing issues early leads to quicker improvement in how a child feels, and reduces risk for larger concerns in the future. We employ a variety of tools such as the Edinburgh PostPartum Depression Screen, PSC-17, PHQ 2 and 9, and RAAPS questionnaires to assess for symptoms. If these screens are concerning, or if a family has a concern at any time beyond the screening tests, we know a number of local resources, including counselors, therapists, and psychologists, to help you and your family take positive steps forward.
We are incredibly excited in 2019 to be partnering with Reach Out and Read and to provide new books to children at their checkups from ages 6 months to 5 years of age. Like Reach Out and Read says, ‘We encourage parents to read aloud daily to their infants, toddlers and preschoolers, as a simple and effective way of fostering nurturing, language-rich family interactions that support brain development and provide a foundation for success.”
Dental caries are a significant problem for children. The risk of developing caries can be decreased by using fluoride. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy recommending fluoride treatments for babies. In our office, we apply topical fluoride every 3-6 months starting when the first tooth erupts. During all of your well child checks, we also address dental health and proper dental care that is age appropriate. We also will recommend home treatment with fluoride supplements when medically necessary.
Need advice from a nurse? Our highly trained nursing staff is available to answer your questions and concerns 24 hours a day. Each day our nurses provide advice on a wide range of topics from fevers, respiratory problems, to medication dosing. During business hours, our experienced in house nurses will be answering your concerns. Each of our LPNs and RNs take turns providing advice. Cindy in Cary, Tina in Apex, and Jennifer in Fuquay-Varina are some of our most experienced nurses providing triage with 82 years of combined experience!. After hours, we have contracted with WakeMed to provide nurse advice.
We are excited to have partnered with Kids in Parks and Walk with a Doc starting in the Summer of 2017. Kids in Parks is an exciting organization that has created a network of trails throughout the area with self-guided brochures that teach kids about nature while being outside. The Walk with a Doc organization works with local doctors to encourage behavior change and healthy living by connecting the physician with their patients outside of the office. The support of these organizations is amazing. Every few months we organize to have several of our doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and administrative staff come together for a hike. We invite our patients an their families to join us. The hikes are so much fun and our families love them. Another great aspect about Kids in Parks is that children earn prizes for tracking their adventures outside! You can sign up on their website http://www.kidsinparks.com.
Below are some helpful handouts on the dosing of the most common over the counter medications that we recommend. Please remember that if your child is less than 2 months old and has a fever >100.4, please call our office prior to giving any medications.