When you have a child with special medical needs, a lot can seem uncertain. When it’s time to bring that child home from the hospital or another care facility, there are often many mixed emotions involved. While your family is certainly excited to bring your child home, you might also be nervous about the transition, uncertain about what to expect and anxious about how you will continue to meet their very specific and complex medical needs.
As you are preparing to bring your child home, here are some tips from Salus Homecare of Utah that can help.
Planning for Hospital Discharge
Caring for a child with complex medical needs is sometimes challenging even if you feel well-prepared and have received specific instructions from your child’s pediatric healthcare providers. As you’re preparing for this move, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need additional instructions or training to provide my child with the right level of care?
- Do I feel equipped with the medications, supplies and equipment that my child will need?
- Have I received and do I understand my child’s discharge plan of care?
- Who should I contact if I have questions once I’m home?
- Would I benefit from in-home pediatric nursing care?
- If so, have I made contact with a care provider in order to ensure my child receives uninterrupted care upon their return home?
Developing the Right Plan of Care
Your child has very specific needs, and it’s important that their care plan addresses those needs with your family’s goals and concerns in mind. An accredited pediatric home health care team is an excellent resource for support in this area. The right team will listen to your concerns and perform a thorough evaluation in order to get to know you, your child and your family members.
Things to Address with Your Pediatric Home Health Team
As your pediatric nursing care team is helping you to ensure that your child continues to receive the best care possible, there are some things you can do to help them too. Here are some of the most important things to remember:
- Carefully vet your pediatric care provider to ensure they have the skills and training necessary to meet your child’s unique medical needs. Ask questions during the assessment. Consider any accreditations they might hold. Discuss their hiring practices, staff training and their backup plan for care to ensure you feel comfortable and that your child’s needs will always be met.
- You know your child best, and your child’s nurses and therapists will depend on you for information about your child. Share your child’s likes and dislikes, habits, preferred routine and other important information. The goal is to help them get to know your child as an individual so that they can develop and maintain an individualized plan of care.
- Clearly communicate your needs with your healthcare team. Include a list of household “dos and don’ts” as well as any specific rules, family routines or other expectations while in your home.
- Maintain a calendar to help with communication. A dry erase board that is visible to everyone in the family is helpful. Notate when your caregiver will be in the home, any medical appointments for your child, special dietary restrictions or allergies, important contact numbers and other valuable information. Keep this calendar updated, and ask that others in your home do the same.
- Accept help when it’s offered. Your child’s nurse can manage their medical needs, but as permitted, they can also provide you with respite support. Having the support necessary to take time away from your family is valuable. It helps you to reduce stress and anxiety, and it can make you a better caregiver too.
Bringing your child home from the hospital is a special time, and you’ll enjoy it more by having the right plan in place. Salus Homecare of Utah is here to help. Contact us to discuss your child’s needs, and let’s work together to make the transition home seamless and enjoyable.