Know the Needs of Machine and Patient

Before the patient comes home

Consult with medical equipment supplier:

- to hire appropriately trained staff

- to ensure home staff orientation with brand of equipment

- to give supplier time for back order and payer approval

Check on other necessary referrals:

- early intervention (pediatrics)

- therapies

- financial assistance

- Division of Rehabilitative Services

Set up and notify emergency services:

- electric company for priority service

- priority snow removal to allow for medical staff

- emergency medical service notified of patient’s status, location, and needs

- fire stickers on windows to locate nonambulatory person

Psychosocial issues associated with ventilator-dependent client

o Patients lose privacy due to medical staff (nursing, therapies, medical equipment company).

o Families feel concerned about leaving their loved ones in the care of strangers.

o The financial burden increases from co- payments, deductibles, increased water and electric bills, and increased paper products and disinfectants for cleaning.

o It can take at least three years to adjust to home care, sometimes longer if precipitated by a catastrophic event.

o Home health nurses must realize they are in patient’s environment, not the hospital, where medical staff control the day’s events. No matter what the health status, the patient is still "king of the castle."

o Nurses walk a fine line in order to maintain professional boundaries yet blend into client’s environment. No one wants a nurse in starched whites standing at the bedside reminding them of their disabilities.

Source: Preferred Health Care, Marion IL.