Excellence in Pediatric Home Care: 10 Strategies for Finding Great Pediatric Nurses for Your Medically Complex Child

Excellence in Pediatric Home Care: 10 Strategies for Finding Great Pediatric Nurses for Your Medically Complex Child

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Finding excellent pediatric home health care should not be a difficult task. However, new parents are often overwhelmed and confused about how to source and retain high-quality home care for medically complex children.  While it’s true that caring for the needs of medically complex children in the home is an art form, there are certain things that will make the transition much less stressful for everyone.  Our nurses have vowed to make sure that your loved one has the care they need and have chosen to be apart of your child’s family for the long haul.

For pediatric agencies like Continuum Pediatric Nursing, the recruiting staff in home care has been tasked with a “matchmaking” job that relieves our parents of the sometime daunting job of finding the right candidate. Finding a great nurse that blends in with the family’s already set culture is the goal. Nurses will come with the clinical knowledge, but we also need to match the social aspects. As we (the agency) sift through a number of resumes produced by candidates, we owe our families the right to interview and find their fit.

As patient care is our top priority and finding great nurses is our job, here are 10 strategies for finding a great nurse for your child.

Utilize Discharge Planners and Social Workers at the Hospital

In the hospital, you will be assigned a Discharge Planner who is preparing, informing and managing the team around the care of your loved one. Discharge Planners will make sure that you have everything you need upon discharge. If needed or wanted, you may also be assigned a Social Worker who helps with the social aspects of your case. Discharge Planners and Social Workers are great assets when navigating the home care world and what agencies come recommended.

Understanding What Care is Needed

Upon release from the hospital, children who require home care services are released with an overwhelming amount of required care; this is where we step in to take the load off. No matter how overwhelmed you may feel, take the time to understand your child’s requirements so you know what nurses should be doing while on shift in your home.

Let the Agency Pair You

Once you have decided on an agency, let them pair you with a nurse. As you should be able to explain to the agency what you want or don’t, they will then recruit a nurse that fits your needs. This process will then lend you an opportunity as a family to pick the preferred nurse through a series of meet and greets.

Understanding Location and What’s Available to You

The geographic location of your home may give you a limited or abundance of options when looking for nurses in home care. If you are in a very populated area, this most likely gives you an abundance of nurses to pick from. However, if you live in a more remote area you may have fewer home care agencies and nurses to pick from.   

Ask Questions

Make sure to ask questions. Everyone that you come in contact with should be able to answer your questions, find answers for you and lend support. There is NO bad question. Questioning can help you prepare for what is coming.

Express How You Want Things Done

Everyone lives differently and may also have different expectations. Make sure that everyone that is involved in care knows what you need and how you would like things done. For example: After bath time, all our son’s towels go in the blue basket versus the white basket. This also creates clarification and reduces ambiguity. 

Explore Available Options

When being presented with an option for a pediatric home care agency or nurse, know that you can explore more than one agency. You may like the agency or nurse at first and then your feelings change. That’s OK. Explore all your options before committing or even after you have already committed.

Check with DME to See if They Have a Homecare Partner

If you are working with a medical supplier, ask if they have a home care partner that they can recommend. This is a great way to find companies that may lead you to the nurse you want.

Set Requirements and Boundaries

Feel comfortable setting requirements and boundaries for your nurses. This will allow for open communication. If you require no shoes in your home, let them know. If you do not want nurses calling after a certain time but prefer a text, let them know. This will lead to a harmonious working environment.

Be Aware of Scheduling and How They Align with Your Needs and Wants

Scheduling in home care is based off the number of hours the state sees fit for the care of your child. Keep in mind the hours that you absolutely need covered. For example: If you work 8-4p you may want a 7a-5p nurse. This gets you covered an hour before and an hour after. If there is some flexibility for a nurse to be there at 7:15 or 7:30 let them know that. It’s ok to be rigid with what you want but also being willing to have flexibility as life happens.

Next Steps:

Have you been made aware that you may need in home nursing? Are you looking for a pediatric homecare agency located in Pennsylvania, NC, Virginia, Northern VA, Maryland, Illinois, or South Carolina? Inquire with us here and we will gladly assist you.

Written by Ashley Wilson