Just as I am not a lawyer and don't play one on TV, I am not a doctor, not a nurse, not a medical technician or even a medical transcriber. I suppose, because I am a military veteran who's kept up her First Aid/ CPR card, I could be considered a trained first responder. I've been to emergency training via the Girl Scouts through Chasing4Life. But if you're looking for a diploma, internship and residency, look elsewhere. I'm here to give you the start on your granny (and gramps) doctor training.
Now when the English-Speaking world reads "granny doctor training" they think of a fictional resident of Beverly Hills named Daisy Moses, known for her roots and yarbs potions, the cure for the common cold, and spring tonic.
That said, the present White House administration has ram-rodded through a health care bill that shows all indicators of being a lack of health care bill. You're going to have to know what to do in case of not-too-emergency emergencies, if Congress doesn't rescind it and the Supreme Court doesn't declare it unconstitutional.
It won't hurt you to know what to do, anyway. I know every good parent in the USA is rated on how quickly he or she drags the kiddos to urgent care. And those parents usually have insurance on the kid, so there's only a co-pay. Grandparents with grandchildren might have the need to get creative.
It's simply not true that every urgent situation requires a kid to go to urgent care, at least in my opinion. There's a lot that a grandparent can do to prepare for what will eventually happen; not that most grandparents aren't already prepared in case of a not-exactly-emergency.
- Take a first aid course. If there's no Red Cross in your area, the National Safety Council also gives first aid training. The YMCA, which is more family than young men these days, also gives first aid training. You'll be more confident.
- Read Web MD PROVIDED you don't have hypochondriac tendencies. It's a great place to find the latest on kids, cures, drugs.
- Prevention is still worth a pound of cure. Limit the junk food, for you and the grandkids, and the Mister or Missus if you have one. Lean meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains- good choices. Grow them, buy them on sale, buy them off the close-out rack, but eating well and correctly is a big step in the prevention game. Water, plenty of it. Exercise for the whole family, including the ever-popular 20 minute walk.
- Be prepared! The old Scout adage still proves true. With weather getting bigger (go see Chasing4Life.org), we have to get smarter. Put aside some old clothes, a little cash, some food and water, for the emergency. And change out that stuff every 4-6 months. You may never have that emergency. But if you do, you're ready. Get a first aid kit, a real one that can be helpful, not a small plastic box with flesh-toned bandage strips from the big-box store. Make copies of important papers and store them with the emergency packs. Keep things clean.
- Just as fruits and certain foods are seasonal and therefore on sale, so over-the-counter medicine and first aid equipment goes on sale at various times of the year. You'll find hand sanitizer and tissues on sale July through September, when school starts. That leads immediately into the season where cold remedies, pain relievers/ fever reducers and flu treatments are greatly reduced (If you get a flu or pneumonia shot, now is the time as well, as most drug stores have them). Spring brings outdoors, and with it, sales on OTC topical antibiotics, antiseptics and pain relievers; wrap bandages and heating pads, also breathing treatments. Summer leads into anti-bug sting products, bug body spray, bandage strips.
- Know when to go to the emergency room, urgent care or just to treat it at home. So many cuts, bruises and bug bites do NOT require an ambulance and EMTs! Fevers over 102 degrees that last more than a couple hours even after fever reducer, listlessness, trouble breathing, unconsciousness, deep wounds, obvious broken bones- get to the ER, now! Fevers between 99-101, cuts that are not that deep but in odd places that bleed, sprains- Use tried-and-true common sense. Every cold is not a signal to rush to urgent care!
- Don't discount what you already know. Ice is still the way to treat a sprain, and meat tenderizer still does wonders on bug bites. The best defense against summer bugs is to get them out of your yard by any means necessary, including zapping them with the big bug light. A winter cold still responds well to chicken soup and the day off school, interspersed with pain reliever/ fever reducer and storybooks. Sometimes a good enema gets things moving. Superglue does indeed hold together a small cut that won't bandage after the cut is cleaned. And soap and water with organization keeps many a germ out of many a house.