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What to Expect at Your First Home Care Visit

When you’re coming home from the hospital, it can be a relief to know that your doctor’s orders include home care. At the same time, you may be unsure about what you need to do to prepare for it, or even what to expect. With home health care from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, your care will be tailored to your unique needs.

Before Your First Visit

While you’re still in the hospital, a VNSNY representative will work with your doctor to determine the care you will need once you’re home. The day you go home, your VNSNY representative will help ensure a smooth transition as you are discharged. You’ll have that day to get settled, fill any prescriptions, and rest before your first home care visit.

The morning after you go home, a representative from VNSNY’s Customer Care Center will call you to tell you when your nurse will visit. It’s important to understand that your nurse will not visit you on your first day back from the hospital.

At the First Visit

During your first visit, your nurse will explain all the details of your plan of care, including which other VNSNY professionals, including physical therapists, social workers, registered dietitians, and home health aides, are part of your home care team and how often you’ll see them.

If you received instructions about your care while you were in the hospital, your nurse will review them with you to make sure you understand and are comfortable performing them. (Be sure to have your discharge instructions and a list of medications ready to show the nurse.) Your nurse will also remind you of your follow-up doctor appointments, and will answer any questions you or your caregivers have and demonstrate any techniques necessary for your care. In addition, your nurse will order any supplies you need, from oxygen to sterile gloves, and teach you and your caregivers how to use any special equipment that’s part of your treatment.

Your nurse will also perform a thorough evaluation of your condition. He or she will:

  • Check your vital signs
  • Monitor any wound or incision sites
  • Administer any medications

Depending on your needs, your first visit may last up to three hours.

Throughout Your Time Receiving Home Care

You’ll receive from VNSNY all the services your doctor has ordered. We’ll help you understand what to expect regarding your medical condition and recovery, teach you how to manage and monitor your condition, and support you through your recovery.

The best way to make at-home care successful: Prepare for it in advance by making a list of responsibilities and chores you’d like the home care professional to take on. This way, you can be sure your parent will receive the help he or she needs. It’s also smart to map out a schedule for meals, medications, sleep, exercise, and other activities, and to compile a list of emergency phone numbers for doctors, as well as friends and family members who can help in a pinch.

Whether you require skilled medical care or assistance with personal care, you can be sure that your plan of care will include all the services your doctor prescribes to meet your needs.

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