What does Pediatrics look like at SFHC?

 For those of you who don’t know me, I’m our Marketing team member and also a first-time mom. I’ll spare you paragraphs of how cool my kid is and go straight to what you are probably most interested in – what pediatric care looks like at SFHC from the lens of someone whose child receives that service.

As a side note, I promise I wouldn’t write this if I wouldn’t recommend it to you.

 To start, I had no idea what pediatric care looked like. I knew that Dr. Rupe always wins ‘Best Pediatrician’ in Salina every year, but beyond that, had no knowledge of the difference between adult versus pediatric care, how often kids need appointments, vaccinations, and basically anything else relating to healthcare for children. So, when I was discharged from the hospital after my son’s birth, I was surprised to learn that I had to take him to a doctor’s appointment 2 days later! I was still recovering and getting to know this new little human, and may have been a little annoyed to have to leave the house that soon.

However, after being home for 36 hours with my little man, I realized how many things I didn’t know and how many questions I had. How many times should he poop in a day? How long should he be in his swing? Why does he sleep better during the day and not at night? And on and on. I knew Google would give me all sorts of competing advice that I wouldn’t, couldn’t, or shouldn’t trust. My husband and I were incredibly grateful for an appointment and someone to talk to that soon.

Fast forward to arriving at SFHC – We check in and complete our paperwork. A member of the nursing team weighs and measures our son. He immediately poops on the scale and cries. Everyone was nice and made me feel like this isn’t the most embarrassing moment I’ve had in parenting thus far. 

When we get into the exam room, a Resident Physician comes in first. They go over the notes from the hospital, our birth experience, and ask if we have questions. They never made us feel as inexperienced as we are and listened carefully to our concerns and questions, giving us validation and easy solutions/tips. Then, the Resident Physician does a physical exam, much like what you’d imagine. My son already has a dirty diaper again and the Physician offers us supplies to change him.

Then, Dr. Rupe enters the room and completes an additional physical. As a first-time parent, I appreciated having two doctors look over my baby and confirm that he’s doing well! She gives us an idea of what developmentally to expect between then and the next appointment. One of the things I appreciated most was her going over when to be concerned about baby’s health and what would require an immediate ER visit. I wouldn’t have thought to ask, but it made me feel much more informed to have a guide to my son’s health. I didn’t know until I became a parent how scary every small ‘symptom’ is the first time you experience it. We left armed with information and also educational sheets to help us remember what she said, along with other developmentally appropriate tips and tricks.

Since that initial appointment, we’ve had the standard week, two week, one month, and two month appointment. Each appointment has had a similar structure and reassuring feeling. My husband and I have never been made to feel inexperienced or silly for any question we’ve asked. With any challenge we’ve faced, Dr. Rupe and the Residents have worked to offer us multiple solutions. They didn’t even want us to be embarrassed when our son peed on one of them. Peeing on things seems to be the accidental theme of our appointments.

However, I have even more gratitude and appreciation for our pediatric team after having a short, minor health scare for my son. Without going into too many details, I was scared but was fairly certain that I was overreacting. It is hard not to as a first-time parent, when your kid feels or acts even slightly different. I called the clinic, told them I was sure I was being overbearing, but they assured me that it was ok and they’d love to get me a same day appointment to check out my son to offer me reassurance that everything was ok. Never once did they make me feel like I was overreacting. Many of them shared stories of similar experiences from their first journey into parenthood. Dr. Rupe was able to look at my son, let me know what was going on, and let me know what symptoms to look for that may mean I should be more concerned.

There’s enough to worry about as a first-time (or however many times) parent. It’s a huge relief to have a reliable, easily reachable team to help walk me through this journey, no matter how many questions I ask or how many times my son pees on them.