Tuesday, February 21, 2017
There are many benefits associated with having a nurse follow up with patients at home after hospitalization. First and foremost a visiting nurse is trained to assess the homecare needs of a patient who may be fragile due to a recent hospitalization. During a home visit the nurse not only assesses the patient physically but makes determinations regarding safety, family support and medical needs. Visiting nurses are trained to work with the patient and family on conditions which may be influencing their health.
With hospitalization stays cut almost in half since the 1980’s, more hospitals count on visiting nursing to assist in keeping readmissions down. Hospitals utilize visiting nurse services to maintain health and safety of a patient once they leave the hospital as well as to keep readmissions down.
Presently we are seeing more care being given in the home environment. Insurance companies and Medicare have pushed to shorten hospital stays while readmissions are being penalized. When planning for discharge from the hospital an important point that should be considered is the patient’s ability to care for themselves in their home. If a patient’s ability to care for themselves is questionable or they need teaching as well as reinforcement in order care for themselves, an RN visit to assess their ability or needs will be completed in their home.
A visiting nurse performs an assessment on the patient during each visit and is trained to recognize symptoms of changing medical status. Visiting nurses provide an array of tasks when needed. Infusions, wound care, ostomy care, teaching the client and caregivers, and care coordination are just some of the tasks visiting nurses perform. Most of all the visiting nurse provides support to the client and caregivers transitioning back to their home.