Lauren puts a lot of energy into caring for her family. With two small children and a part-time job (luckily from home), some days are busier than others, with trips to the grocery store, school, and soccer practice. Like most mothers, the last thing she wants to do is to waste time in the emergency room with unexpected minor injuries and illnesses.
The day before her daughter’s first birthday party, Lauren found herself facing a laundry list of chores: prepare food for the party, pick her mother-in-law up from the train station, clean and decorate the house. As she stood in the kitchen chopping vegetables, the sharp knife she was holding slipped, and she severely sliced her index finger. She knew she needed medical attention—and fast. Clearly she did not have all afternoon to spend in an emergency room. A patient at the Braintree practice of Harvard Vanguard, she picked up the phone and called her doctor’s office. She was told to come in right away for an urgent care appointment.
When she arrived at the office, she met with Dr. David Dildine, who numbed her hand and quickly stitched up the cut.
“Dr. Dildine and his nurse just took the best care of me,” Lauren reflects. “They made sure I was comfortable before they starting stitching me up, and they comforted me because I was anxious about the whole situation. It was not a great situation to find myself in, but it was made a whole lot better because I could go to Harvard Vanguard instead of the emergency room.”
Lauren was able to get in to see Dr. Dildine immediately, then get home to finish everything she needed to before the party.
That wasn’t the only time Lauren turned to Harvard Vanguard in a time of need.
After she and her family returned home from a family vacation, her one-year-old daughter came down with hand, foot and mouth disease. She had blisters down her throat and a rash covering her body. She was inconsolable and couldn’t sleep.
It was 2 a.m., and Lauren desperately wanted to soothe her daughter’s pain. She picked up the phone and dialed Harvard Vanguard’s evening call line which is staffed with nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can see the patients’ medical record and give advice, prescribe medication when appropriate, or schedule an appointment for the next day.
“I was out of options and didn’t know what else to do to help her,” Lauren reflects. “I’m so glad there was someone there who could help us.”
The nurse Lauren spoke with had a solution. She recommended a combination of over-the-counter products. Lauren’s husband ran out to a 24-hour pharmacy for the medications and gave them to their daughter. The entire family finally got some rest.
“Being able to count on Harvard Vanguard is a really big convenience for all of us. My children’s pediatrician is there, my doctor is there, and I’ve even seen an allergist and a dermatologist there, too” Lauren says. “It’s kind of like a one-stop-shop for all of your medical needs.”