AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The pediatric call center at Children’s Hospital Colorado saw a dramatic increase in calls due to the coronavirus.
In March alone, nurses say they answered an additional 4,000 calls into the ParentSmart Healthline (720-777-0123).
“We saw an exponential increase,” said Val Aymami, one of the nurse leaders.
Aymami says about 50 trained pediatric nurses usually work for the call center. They hired about 20 more.
She says the call volume leveled off, but jumped again in July. Now she is preparing for another possible spike as flu season approaches.
The calls about coronavirus run the gamut. Many parents, she says, will call with their children’s symptoms and ask for advice.
“It’s a lot of critical thinking in a short phone call,” Aymami said.
Sometimes, the family is reassured; other times, they are told to go right to the emergency room.
“It raises your blood pressure for sure,” Aymami said.
She is grateful for the recognition she and the others are getting during Pediatric Nurses Week, which is Oct. 5-9.
The ParentSmart Healthline is free, and nurses are available 24 hours a day.
The group also answers after-hours calls for doctor offices in a seven-state region.