Pediatric in-home care is the best option for children and families, as children feel most comfortable at home. When a nurse or professional enters the home to assist in a child’s care, it’s important for the family to understand exactly what will happen. Knowing beforehand what to expect helps ease a family’s concerns and reduces the anxiety associated with professionals coming into the home for the first time.
The initial visit will be an assessment of the child. The nurse needs to get to know the child, so a head to toe assessment will be completed. The nurse will also work with the pediatrician to determine how many weekly visits are necessary. A full medical history will be obtained, if the nurse does not have the file from the pediatrician. The nurse must have a clear history of the child to understand how to best help the child; help the nurse obtain as much information as possible. The first visit is also the time for parents to decide on a schedule; the nurse will find out what time of day works best for the family for visits. Remember, however, that these appointments can be changed as the family needs change over time.
A Plan of Care, or POC, will be determined and sent to the pediatrician, where it must be approved. Once it is approved by the doctor, it is sent to the insurance company, where it must be once again approved. While this process seems daunting, it is typically done within a week or two.
What Families Can Expect
After all the permissions have been obtained, a nurse rotation begins in the home. The nurse coming in will typically be a Registered Nurse (RN) or other type of licensed nurse specializing in pediatric care. The nurse will be supervised by the case manager, who will also build a close relationship with the family.
When the nurse is in the home, the family can expect the nurse to attend to all the medical needs of the child. The nurse will monitor vital signs, help families use medical equipment, manage a child’s pain, and provide intervention according to the POC. The progress of the child will also be charted and sent to the pediatrician. The nurse will also work with the family to help educate in the child’s care and answer any questions the family has regarding the child.
The Vancouver Home Health Care Agency can help parents find the right pediatric in-home nurse and answer any further questions about in-home care.
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