I’m wondering if our local families understand and take advantage of the benefits of well-child checks. Well child checks are important tools for you and your doctor to make sure your child is developing right and to screen for common problems that appear at specific ages.
What happens at a well-child visit? We check your child’s growth and development, looking at their height, weight, and head size as compared to other kids their age and gender. This can tell us if there are trends that need attention. We also check age-appropriate milestones, social behaviors and learning. We make sure your baby is able to do the things he/she should be doing by certain ages. If we find a problem, we make recommendations: continue to monitor, send to a specialist to evaluate, or get specialized services or therapy starting at an age young enough to make a difference. We also talk about nutrition and safety in the home and community. At well child checks, we discuss immunizations to prevent illness. At the Perry Memorial Walnut Clinic and our other Perry Clinics, we offer immunizations for children whose insurance cover them. If your insurance doesn’t cover immunizations, we discuss with you when and which vaccines your child needs to get at the health department – who typically can provide these necessary immunizations for free or at a reduced cost to children without insurance or who are underinsured.
Most insurances cover wellness exams 100%, especially for kids. Check with your insurance provider to be sure. Well-child checks are for healthy kids who are growing and seldom go to the doctor, as well as for children who are seeing doctors regularly due to chronic health issues.
In my office, I like to see kids at the following intervals starting from their newborn checkup (2-5 days old), 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. Then in the second and year, we would see them at 15 months and then every 6 months (18 months, 24 and 30 months of age) until they are 3. Starting at age 3, we would then like to see the kids yearly until they are 21. Their birth month is a good time to remember to schedule these visits, or you could do it in the summer when the children are off school.
In the summertime (or any time of the year) we can incorporate school and sports physicals with the well-child check. Keep in mind the well child visit and physical are not interchangeable. The well-child check is much more comprehensive than the school or sports exams and is intended to catch any health problems early on. Because of the wide range covered during the exam we can fill out the any required forms pertaining to the physical during this visit to save you time or an additional appointment.
Before you bring your child to the clinic for his/her wellness exam, make a list of topics you want to discuss with us, whether it be about how much sleep your baby should be getting, is a certain behavior normal, what and how much should they be eating, or maybe small health issues like skin lesions that you’ve deemed too minor to make an appointment for.
Regular wellness exams help your provider get to know your child and the family, so that they can know when something is amiss. This consistency helps develop that medical home, where everyone knows your name.
Remember as you are making plans this summer, think about scheduling well child exams for your kids if they haven’t had one, need to get caught up on them, and especially if they need to get vaccines, or need physicals for camp, school or sports.
Mariellen Molln received Perry’s quarterly Daisy Award, Thursday August 29, 2019 in the Perry Memorial Hospital Park Avenue Cafe surrounded by co-workers, family and friends.
In her youth, Mariellen observed first-hand the importance of a nurse’s care. Her mother had health issues throughout her lifetime and often required hospitalization. She knew from her personal experience she wanted to be a nurse.
After high school, Mariellen began taking prerequisite nursing classes at IVCC and gaining experience at St. Mary’s Hospital in LaSalle through the LPN program. In 1987, Mariellen took the next step towards her dream as she received her nursing degree from IVCC. Her LPN degree qualified her to work at a nursing home while she and her husband, Gary, raised three daughters.
Pediatrics swing shift was Mariellen’s first full time position at Perry. Working swing, her schedule was sporadic and unpredictable, and remaining flexible proved to be challenging while raising a family. Instead, Mariellen continued PRN at Perry while working weekend shifts at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford for eight years as a Registry Nurse. “I learned a lot. Perry was always my home for my nursing career because the care is personal, and I love playing a part in the patient’s recovery,” Mariellen said. During this time, Mariellen would work at times four days a week at Perry. Finally in 1996 she was ready to return to Perry full time and worked a variety of departments, Peds, Med/Surg and finally ICU.
Her nomination came from a former patient. He wrote, “I’m a 38 year old male and have been in and out of hospitals quite a few times over the years. Mariellen has to be the most professional, respectful, yet nicest nurse I have ever had. I greatly appreciate everything she has done for me and the way she treated me and all the time she spent with me until I fully recovered. As far as that goes, the whole ICU staff was great and I really appreciate everything that they all did for me.”
Mariellen added, “After working here the past 32 years, the Family Acute Care and Intensive Care Units teams work closely with each other we have become a nursing family taking care of families, friends and neighbors.” Her nursing family gave her a resounding ovation when Mariellen’s name was called for the award.
The non-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Perry to receive The Daisy Award. Awards are given throughout the year at presentations given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients and guests.