Stories of Care

Easing Fears at a First Home Care Visit

RN Neely B

Home care nurse Neely B. with her patient, Jeff. “I was scared to death,” he says, “but she was able to calm me down.”

Jeff*, a 70-year-old man with lung disease, contacted VNSNY to explain how he had recently been sent home from the hospital in a frightened and uncertain state:

“I was dropped off by EMS at my apartment, where I live alone,” he recalls. “For the first time I needed oxygen full time and I was unable to take care of myself. I was scared and had no idea what to do. I’m not aware if I slept that night or not.”

The next day, VNSNY home care nurse Neely B. arrived at his home and immediately set his mind at ease. “She arrived at 10:00 on the morning after my discharge, and immediately recognized that I was suffering from high anxiety and depression and was having trouble breathing,” says the patient. “Most of all, she could tell that I was scared to death.”

Drawing on her skills and training as a home care nurse, Neely responded in a calm, supportive, and understanding manner. She explained how she would help him manage his condition safely at home, and reassured him that everything would be fine. “After about 20 minutes, she was able to calm me down,” adds the patient. “After discussing my case, she got on her computer and scheduled appointments with my primary care physician and with a psychiatrist, and also set up a home care provider that was able to start the next day. When it was time for her to leave, I didn’t want her to go. That night I said the longest prayer, thanking God for my nurse—my Florence Nightingale!”

* The patient’s name has been changed for privacy.

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