He'd been complaining of headaches for a few days, and Weisser wanted to take him to the family's doctor as quickly as possible. Nurses suggested she try Avera's pediatrics walk-in clinic at Physician's Plaza.
Avera St. Luke's created a walk-in pediatrics program to accommodate a growing need in the community. While the hospital's two FastCare clinics see children, the minimum age is 1 year because the clinics aren't set up to see every diagnosis there is, said Michael Opp, director of clinics for St. Luke's.
"It arose in response to a need we saw with FastCare," Opp said. "We had to turn away too many patients there. So we responded by making the open clinic instead of sending them to the ER."
Avera St. Luke's pediatric specialty clinic began offering walk-in hours for nonemergency health care services in December.
Weisser was grateful to have the clinic available when she walked in around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
"It lets me make it to work by 10 a.m. That's asking a lot with a sick kid," she said.
She also said if the clinic weren't available, she likely would have rearranged her schedule or tried to run to the clinic with her son over lunch.
Dr. Erick Temoka, a pediatrician, said creating the clinic hours formalized the idea of patients not needing an appointment to be seen by a doctor.
Temoka said he'd rather see patients first in the clinic than have them be seen first in the emergency room, where the department can get so busy that patients often wait longer.
Though the special pediatrics clinic also sees patients by appointment, walk-in patients don't have to wait long to be seen, said Dr. Kassy Thorpe, another pediatrician in the clinic.
"Really, we just want another place for families in addition to FastCare," Thorpe said.
What: Avera St. Luke's Pediatric Specialty Clinic is offering nonemergency health care for walk-in patients.
When: 9-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Where: Physician's Plaza, 201 S. Lloyd St., Ste. 205 E.