By Guest Blogger Alison Gardner, MD, MS, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Brenner Children’s, Wake Forest Baptist Health

If your child is in need of immediate care that is not life threatening, our pediatric emergency medicine specialists are available to have a video visit with you on your mobile device or computer. Visit or call 1-844-WF-TEL-ED (1-844-938-3533) to schedule a video visit.

Emergency and Urgent Care Telehealth at Brenner Children’s: It’s our job to walk with families through acute illnesses and injuries.

As pediatric emergency medicine doctors, it is our job to walk with families through acute illnesses and injuries, but currently during the COVID-19 pandemic we are seeing families that are worried to come in the emergency department for fear of contagion. 

We heard you.

We are pleased to announce that we have started a new way to connect with you through pediatric emergency or urgent care telehealth visits!

Friends and family often ask about my job as a pediatric emergency doctor. What sorts of things do I see? What does my shift look like? Is it like TV?

The last question does make me laugh. In truth, my job looks like a lot of things.

My colleagues and I walk with parents through earaches and fevers, broken arms and concussions, new diagnoses of cancer and diabetes, and major life-threatening trauma and accidents. Our most visible role as pediatric emergency physicians is to treat emergencies, but our most important skill is being able to differentiate emergency conditions from common conditions. Emergencies can masquerade as common things, and it is our job to notice the subtle differences in order to get you and your child started on the path to healing and health.

I often tell parents that I keep two lists. List One contains all the diagnoses that are most likely. List Two contains the diagnoses that are not likely, but rather the ones that are emergent and that I don’t want to miss.

When you come with your child to the pediatric emergency department, I automatically start my two lists as I listen to your child’s story. Fever? Vomiting? Under List One I will list stomach virus. But under List Two I will list things like appendicitis, or pancreatitis, gall bladder disease, lower lobe pneumonia, kidney infection. And because I teach our young resident doctors that if we do not think of the rare and unusual diagnosis, then we can never diagnose the rare and the unusual, I will add things such as brain tumor or viral heart infection (myocarditis). You won’t often hear me tell you the full extent of my List Two, but rather I will recommend a work-up to be able to eliminate things on that list. I only let you go home with treatment for a viral stomach bug after I use a combination of history taking, physical exam, and perhaps x-rays and labs if needed, to make me comfortable there is little possibility of a List Two diagnosis. The return precautions that I give you are also symptoms of List Two, so that we can work together to make sure that we are still watching carefully for any changes after you return home.

You can visit with our pediatric emergency or urgent care specialists via video by calling: 1-844-WF-TEL-ED for an emergency room visit or 1-336-716-9150 for an urgent care visit. Together we can help your family decide if home care is appropriate and provide guidance regarding when follow-up is needed. We can also help with recommendations for x-rays at our same day orthopedic clinics, referrals to our sub-specialists, or tell you that you really do need to come into the pediatric emergency department for further labs, x-rays or physical exam. If we recommend you come to the emergency department, we will be expecting you and let you know the way to find us and safely visit with us during this time!

Is my child’s abdominal pain constipation or appendicitis? What needs to be done about this fever? My child just fell and hit her head; what do I do now? Does this need stitches? We can help you with all these questions and together we can find the right place for your child to get timely and safe care.

Below is a box to print out or cut out and keep in a handy location, so that if the time arrives when you need a partner like us, you can quickly arrange for a visit with a phone call.

  • Sponsored by Brenner Children’s, Wake Forest Baptist Health