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Heather Hooper, Visit nurse

This blog is part five in a series about what you can expect when engaging with Hosparus Health’s care. Click here to read Part 1, here to read Part 2, here for Part 3 and here for Part 4.

One of the reasons why patients and families are so appreciative of Hosparus Health’s compassion and support is that our care teams are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you or your loved one are experiencing new or worsening symptoms, or you simply have a question about medication, we are here for you any time of the day or night.

There may be instances after regular business hours when a phone call is not enough, and you need an in-person visit from a visit nurse. Because Hosparus Health has a dedicated team of expert nurses who are available to make visits in the evenings and on weekends, you don’t have to wait until the next day to get the support you need.

The First Step

Any time you have a question or concern, call our Patient Care Line at 800-264-0521. If our Customer Support Team is unable to address your concerns over the phone, they will notify the nurse on call and give them a brief overview of why a visit is needed. Prior to the nurse’s arrival, they will call you with an anticipated time of arrival.

Assessment and Symptom Management Visits

Most after-hours visits are needed due to a change in the patient’s condition, a symptom that needs management or the passing of a loved one.

Visits to assess a change in condition or for symptom management are similar. When the nurse arrives at the home, they will review with you the reason for the visit.

They may also ask questions such as:

  • What changes or symptoms have you seen? When did they start?
  • What was the patient doing prior to the start of the change or symptom?
  • What has the patient tried to help manage the change or symptom?
  • How often has the patient taken medications for these changes/symptoms?
  • Have you noticed an improvement? Further decline? No change?

Your visit nurse will assess the patient and may attempt interventions to alleviate the symptoms. If these are not successful, the nurse may contact the Hosparus Health physician on call or the patient’s primary care provider for further guidance, or discuss transferring the patient to a higher level of care.

Sometimes changes observed are a natural part of the disease progression or dying process. In these cases, education along with support and reassurance may be what is needed. Before leaving the home, the nurse will review any changes to the plan of care and verify that you have the medications/supplies you need to care for the patient overnight or through the weekend.

Visits for Patients Who Have Died

Sometimes, nurses are called to visit families when their loved one has passed away. When they arrive at your home, your visit nurse will check the patient’s vital signs to verify he or she has died.

Some questions you may be asked during this visit are:

  • Are you awaiting on anyone else to come see your loved one before he/she is transported to the funeral home?
  • Which funeral home are you going to use?
  • Would you like the funeral home to be called now?
  • Would you like the nurse to put clothing on your loved one for transport to the funeral home?

The Hosparus Health visit nurse is there to support you during this difficult and emotional time. They can dress the patient, call the funeral home, fill out any necessary paperwork, and destroy controlled medications. They will inform you of when to expect rented medical equipment to be picked up and educate you on our bereavement services.

No matter the reason you or your loved one needs a visit from a nurse after hours, you should feel free to ask any questions. Your visit nurse will communicate what occurred during the visit to your other care team members to ensure you and your family continue to get the high-quality care and support you need.

If you or a loved one could benefit from our care, please call us at 800-264-0521 to make a referral.

Disclaimer: Visits may vary based on a patient’s condition, symptoms and other factors.

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