It's not uncommon for illness to strike or an injury occur on a weekend or holiday or at a time of day when it isn't possible to be seen by one's usual physician.
That often leads to care being sought through a hospital emergency department even though the nature of the treatment required does not warrant that level of care. The result is more expense for the patient than necessary.
Additionally, when hospital emergency departments become crowded with patients needing relatively minor or routine help, it becomes more difficult for the specialized personnel in those units to address as efficiently as they should the needs of seriously ill patients.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Trinity Regional Medical Center Urgent Care Clinic advanced registered nurse practitioners Pier Osweiler, left, and Ann Feser prepare to look up some records during a recent afternoon at the facility, which is adjacent to the emergency room. Trimark Urgent Care sees patients on a walk-in basis.
That's why Trimark Physicians Group established Trimark Urgent Care.
"We are very excited about this new opportunity to serve Fort Dodge and the surrounding communities," Pam Halvorson, Trimark's chief operating officer, said in a Messenger guest column July 22 that previewed the plans for the clinic. "Although two Trimark clinics, Trimark Family Practice Associates and Trimark Pediatrics currently offer extended hours, it has become evident over the past few years that our community would greatly benefit from a clinic with night, weekend and holiday hours."
This new clinic is designed to provide a convenient treatment option for people who need care sooner than is possible at their family practitioner's office, but do not require the level of care a hospital emergency department is geared to providing.
Trimark Urgent Care, which opened last month, is located at Trinity Regional Medical Center. It is on the north side of the hospital near Entrance C, close to the entrance to the Emergency Department. The clinic is open to see patients Monday through Friday from 3 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays and holidays from noon to 5 p.m. The team at the clinic is led by two advanced registered nurse practitioners - Ann Feser and Pier Osweiler. Physicians are available to consult with the nurse practitioners as needed.
"There's always someone on call that we can contact," Feser said.
So too are other resources.
"We have access to lab, X-ray and Emergency Department is right next door," Osweiler said.
That the need for this type of clinic exists was demonstrated almost as soon as its doors opened.
"The number of people coming here is just overwhelming," Osweiler said. "More and more people are using the facility as the word spreads."
Feser echoed that conclusion.
"We're seeing parents bring in kids with a sore throat, earache, upper respiratory infections, acute asthma attacks where the child's not in dire need of the emergency room," she