Our Services / Sick Visits

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Sick Visits

Pediatricians located in West End & Downtown, Billings, MT

Caring for a sick child is a stressful experience. The team at the Children’s Clinic, with offices on the West End and in downtown Billings, Montana, offers sick visits during extended hours, including on weekends. If you are unsure when to come in for a sick visit, a triage nurse is available during clinic hours to discuss your child’s symptoms and help decide whether your child needs a same-day appointment. After hours, they partner with triage nurses at Children’s Hospital Colorado to help make decisions about whether your child needs urgent/emergent care or can wait until the morning. They can also connect you to the on-call pediatrician, if needed. Don’t hesitate to call the office to set up a sick visit when your child is injured or ill. Online appointment requests are also an option for less time-sensitive care needs.

Sick Visits Q&A

What kinds of health needs can sick visits address?

The team at the Children’s Clinic can address a wide range of health needs during sick visits. As with all pediatric appointments, sick visits focus on the specific needs of your child at that point in time. 

No one is at their best when they aren’t feeling well, including kids. When they already know and trust their pediatric provider, sick visits are not an additional source of stress during an already challenging time. That is why we set aside plenty of same-day appointment slots so that your child can get in as soon as possible and get back on the path toward feeling better quickly.

What happens during a sick visit?

When you come in for a sick visit, your provider asks questions about your child’s symptoms. Your knowledge of your child and how they are normally versus now is critical to our diagnosis and treatment plan. A physical exam provides additional insight into how their body is functioning. 

The practice has many point-of-care (i.e., in-office) tests to identify your child’s illness. These include PCR COVID, influenza A, influenza B, RSV, and strep testing. We also test for mono in the clinic. We collect samples and draw blood for a wide variety of other conditions without you needing to go to a separate lab. If your child comes in for an injury, the focus turns to addressing any swelling, lacerations, or musculoskeletal issues and determining whether imaging is necessary. 

Each sick visit is unique and centers on your child’s specific set of needs. In many cases, treatment can begin during the visit, helping your child feel better as swiftly as possible. We support the healing process at home or, if your child needs more advanced care or to see a specialist, your pediatrician will guide you through the next steps. 

What can I do to help my child feel better at home when sick or injured?

There are many things parents can do to help their child feel better. If the source of discomfort is cold or flu symptoms, setting up a comfortable environment is a great place to begin. 

Some kids prefer to stay in bed when they feel sick, while others don’t want to be excluded from the activities of other family members and prefer to set up camp on a sofa or chair. Depending on the child’s age, having a favorite toy nearby can help. 

For cold and flu symptoms, staying hydrated should be a top priority. Fruit pops are a great alternative if your child refuses water or other beverages. You want to keep a close eye on their temperature to know if fever is a concern. 

For sports injuries, the RICE method can bring relief. Begin by resting the affected area, then use ice to reduce swelling. Compression with an elastic bandage can provide additional support, and elevating the injured area also helps with swelling. 

Over-the-counter pain medication formulated for children can help ease discomfort. If these self-care tips don’t yield results, call the Children’s Clinic for guidance. Same-day visits are available, and the practice also offers extended hours, including on weekends. Online appointment requests are an option for less urgent scheduling needs and telemedicine services are also available. 

Children's Clinic