What if I have a question about my child's health?
If you have a concern, we want to hear from you.
For over 50 years, we have built and rebuilt how we do things to remain accessible to our patients' families. That is a big deal to us.
OPTION 1 You can call us (919-781-7490).
This option has been number one for a long, long time. The phone number 919-781-7490 has rung at the place where we do business for decades. A frequent topic of discussion at an RCAM business meeting is, "How can we answer the phone more quickly and more effectively?"
Some things about calling our office:
- YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT. You wouldn't call us if it wasn't. We wouldn't be in the business of pediatric medicine if we didn't think your call was important. Please let us know if we can do a better job with this vital service.
- EMERGENCIES: Call 911.
- NON-URGENT CALLS: Be sure to call during regular business hours.
- URGENT CALLS: For urgent concerns about your child's health, call anytime.
- 24-HOUR ON-CALL PEDIATRICIAN: When our office closes, calls go to our answering service who will send your message to our on-call pediatrician who will call you back.
- DAYTIME PHONE NURSE TRIAGE: Our phone nurse is available for questions everyday during regular office hours.
- OVERNIGHT PHONE TRIAGE SERVICE: If you call between 11:00 PM and 8:00 AM, you will get an initial call back from the WakeMed Nurse Phone Triage Service who do a great job managing overnight calls. There is no charge to our families for this service.
- BEST TIME TO CALL: Call when you must; when you have a choice, our phones are the least busy soon after 8:30 AM when we have first opened the office.
- FRONT DESK PHONE BREAK: Our hard-working front office staff take a break from the phones from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. Our answering service takes only urgent call messages during that time.
- BACKUP PHONE NUMBER: If outside of regular business hours you can't get through to our answering service, you can call them directly at 919-831-5526.
OPTION 2 You can message us through the RCAM Patient Portal.
- GET STARTED: Our Front Office can help get you set up with the RCAM Patient Portal.
- NON-URGENT MESSAGES ONLY: Messages are checked intermittently, so - if you have a sick child - you should call directly.
- MESSAGE ONE OF OUR PEDIATRICIANS DIRECTLY: A message can be general and our nurses handle most of those. They typically respond the quickest. If you have been working with one of our pediatricians specifically about your concern and would like to hear from them, make that clear in your message. Since each pediatrician has a different schedule, please specify if it is okay for you to wait for a response when they are back in our office.
OPTION 3 You can always just come and see us.
An in-person appointment is often the best option to address a health concern.
We have made adjustments to how we see sick children due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these adjustments could change once the pandemic is less active in our community. We always want to base how we do things on the best information available.
- CURBSIDE APPOINTMENT: This has been one of those COVID-19 adjustments. We created the Curbside Clinic to minimize risk to patients and staff.
- Sick clinic for children with symptoms that could indicate COVID-19 illness (like fever, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, headache, etc.)
- Happens every day (including holidays) except Sunday at our Brier Creek office next to our side entrance off Willey Street
- Staffed by 1-2 RCAM pediatricians dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE = gown, gloves, mask, and eye coverage)
- Each morning we set up our tent and roll out Curbie - our Curbside Clinic Nurse Cart that houses all the items we need to have a safe and efficient Curbside Clinic.
- CURBSIDE / INSIDE SICK APPOINTMENT: Some symptoms require an indoor evaluation. The RCAM pediatrician that is covering the Curbside Clinic makes the decision about what patients need to be brought inside for their visit.
- INSIDE NON-SICK APPOINTMENT: Some patient complaints that are clearly not COVID-19-related or otherwise particularly contagious can be scheduled as a typical indoors appointment. These visits can occur at both the Brier Creek and the Duraleigh offices.
- TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENT: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw many patients online through TeleHealth Visits. We still use TeleHealth Visits but more sparingly since those early stages. The most common time to use them for sick visits is on Sunday when we are unable to see sick patients in person.
- WALK-IN APPOINTMENT: We do not offer walk-in appointments since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will assess in the future whether to resume that practice.
- AFTER HOURS SICK APPOINTMENT: Again, since the COVID pandemic, sick evaluations after 5:00 PM and anytime on Sunday are typically scheduled as TeleHealth Appointments. On Saturdays and most holidays we offer our Brier Creek Curbside Clinic for sick visits.
- WELL VISITS: Well child care is discussed on a separate page.
OPTION E.D. What if I need to take my child to the Emergency Department?
- All of those appointment types listed above exist to keep our patients out of the Emergency Department (ED). We really want to help you avoid the ED. However, sometimes that is the right call.
- If you are having a true emergency and have to call 911, the arriving rescue team who assesses and transports your child will communicate with local hospitals and decide the best place to take your child.
- If your child's symptoms are non-emergent enough that you have time to call, we are happy to help decide whether the best option is the Emergency Department, Urgent Care, or waiting things out for when you can schedule with us.
- WakeMed Children's Emergency Department on New Bern Avenue has historically been the Emergency Department we have recommended to our patients that need that level of care. In the Raleigh area, they see the most children and offer the most pediatric services.
- Since 2019, Rex Hospital has improved their pediatric services and are another good option.
- UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center in Durham offer excellent pediatric services and are a good choice for many of our Brier Creek families.