Medical City Healthcare - September 22, 2017

If you've ever asked yourself, a friend, a coworker or the checker at the grocery store — "Should I see doctor for this?" or "Should I take my child to the doctor for that?" — there's a better option. Ask a nurse! Now you can, day or night, with Medical City Healthcare's free, 24/7 Ask a Nurse hotline. The hotline is staffed with nurses who are experts in helping North Texans with their health and medical-related questions and much more.

Ask a Nurse phone numbers.

Ask a Nurse
(833) 612-1999

Medical City Children’s Hospital
(888) 563-KIDS

Heading up the Ask a Nurse program is Tammy Rosso, specialty certified registered nurse and director of customer relationship management/clinical services for Medical City Healthcare's parent company, HCA Healthcare. Across the HCA system nationwide, Rosso said about half the Ask a Nurse calls, on average, require some type of follow-up care.

The RNs who answer Ask a Nurse calls refer approximately:

  • 20.2% to an emergency room (ER)
  • 17% to a healthcare provider/physician/specialist
  • 8.7% to home care, with care advice included
  • 3.9% to emergency medical services (EMS/911)
  • 1% to poison control

Ask a Nurse call topics.

"With seasonal variations, the top 6 calls our nurses receive are the same for adults and pediatrics," said Rosso. "In the fall, we'll get calls about immunizations — especially if there's a new strain of flu — as well as breast care in October. In winter, we'll get a lot of questions about coughs, colds and sore throats and in summer it's a lot of insect bites and stings and sunburn. Whatever's in the news also affects the calls we receive, such as Ebola, Zika, dry drowning and others."

Here are the top 6 Ask a Nurse call topics for adults and children:

Abdominal/Stomach Pain

Abdominal pain is the No. 1 cause of emergency room visits in the U.S. Stomach pain can be an indication of a virus or food poisoning or it could be something more serious, such as a gallbladder attack, colitis or pancreas issues.

Head to the ER with stomach pain if it's severe or accompanied by

  • Bleeding, either through vomiting or bowel movement
  • Nausea, vomiting or dehydration
  • High fever


Most fevers are a symptom of a harmless viral infection, especially in children. Their still-maturing immune systems attack every germ at full force, leading to lots of fevers and only rarely (about 1 in 100) a serious illness.


Constipation sends more than 700,000 Americans to the ER every year, including children and people using or abusing opioid pain relievers. Since 1997, hospitalizations due to constipation have more than doubled.


Your body is at least 50% water. Uncontrolled or repeated vomiting can seriously deplete your body's water reserves and most of us aren't drinking enough water to begin with. It doesn't take much — as little as a 1% loss of water — to experience dehydration symptoms. Dehydration can happen quickly, especially in infants.


A skin rash is a common medical symptom with a large number of potential causes, including infections, allergic reactions, heat, medications and immune system disorders. Allergic reactions can come on suddenly and turn from bad to worse quickly. Gan Su, DO, an emergency medicine physician at Medical City Arlington, says to head to the ER if you have:

  • Hives all over your body
  • Breathing problems

Cough, cold, congestion

Many widespread respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia and croup are caused by the RSV virus. In children under three, RSV can cause bronchiolitis, which is the most common cause of hospitalization in infants under 12 months old. Flu is another respiratory illness that can cause complications, such as breathing problems, pneumonia and even sepsis.

While these symptoms might seem like no big deal, Rosso encourages people to seek care early. "These can all lead to a trip to the ER if they get bad enough," she said.

You should always call 911 if you are having a medical emergency.

If you or someone in your family needs expert, emergency care fast, one of our many Medical City Healthcare emergency locations has you covered.

You can also get care for minor injuries or illness at one of the many DFW CareNow® Urgent Care locations, with convenient Web Check-In® so you can wait in the comfort of your home.

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Revised 2/12/2019

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