It’s never fun for any child to get sick, especially for the family. This is why it can be particularly devastating when a child receives a severe diagnosis, is born prematurely, or requires medical care around the clock. Thankfully, pediatric home health care is available to guide a family through the ups and downs of managing the needs of a sick child.

What is pediatric home health care?

Pediatric home health care involves a baby, toddler, or child who requires medical assistance as well as home healthcare professionals. Depending on the severity of the issue, it can become exhausting for parents to manage a child’s symptoms at home. When a child needs pediatric home health care services, it’s because they depend on round-the-clock care in order to live.

Whether they’re suffering from cancer, infectious disease, or a tumor, it’s not uncommon to need medical equipment, close attention, and proper care. Multiple hospital visits or 24-hour care might be completely unrealistic for a parent with a full-time job. When parents decide to bring in a pediatric home healthcare professional, they’re giving their child the best care possible. At the same time, they maintain the management of the family’s overall needs.

What does a pediatric home health nurse do? 

When a pediatric home health nurse is helping a sick child, their services vary depending on what the child needs. A pediatric home health nurse is an angel because their presence allows the family to get the peace of mind knowing that their child is in excellent, professional hands.

Whenever a home health nurse enters the picture, a family doesn’t have to worry about frequent visits to the hospital. Once a pediatric home health nurse is doing their job correctly, a child’s visits to the hospital might not be as regular or lengthy. In most cases, if a person had the choice to pick between going home or staying in the hospital, they’ll choose their home. Home is typically where the heart is. It’s the most comfortable place to be. When a health professional can come to you, you have the best of both worlds.

What services are provided with pediatric home health care?

There is a wide range of services that pediatric home health care professionals can provide. Consider the following eight services they typically offer. 

Pediatric Private Duty Nursing 

Pediatric Private Duty Nursing allows professionals to help the family by taking care of the daily needs of a sick child who needs closer monitoring. 

Nursing and Care for Babies

When a baby has a medical condition, this service allows professionals to take care of the child at home instead of the hospital. 

Ventilator, Tracheostomy, Apnea Monitors and Oxygen Therapy 

If a baby or child requires medical equipment for oxygen or other essentials, a pediatric home nurse can provide the proper care.

Cardiovascular Disease 

Heart monitoring and stress are a few of the components of a pediatric home nurse’s concern when they’re providing care for pediatric cardiovascular disease.

Complex Intravenous Therapy 

Between managing the catheter site and taking care of the dressing and tubing, a pediatric home nurse can closely monitor the effectiveness of IV therapy.

Pediatric Oncology

When children are suffering from cancer or bleeding disorders, having a private duty nurse can help with managing the child’s symptoms in a comfortable environment. 

Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases, such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy, can impact a child’s daily life. A home care nurse will decrease the number of hospital visits the child must endure. 

Infectious Diseases 

When children suffer from infectious diseases, they typically need ongoing medical treatments like IV therapy. A home health nurse administers medications without exposing the child to more bacteria.

Benefits of Pediatric Home Health Care

When a parent is dealing with a sick child, they want to make sure they’re getting the best care possible. Most parents are figuring things out as they go. Which means that unless the parents professionally trained, they are not equipped to handle anything past the common cold. When a pediatric home health care professional enters the picture, they’re able to show a parent the details regarding what needs to be monitored, cared for, and more. The parent will get a real-live example of how to care for the complex needs of their sick child through the example of a pediatric home health care nurse. 

Furthermore, they can ask questions, gain clarity, and develop a relationship with their child’s healthcare provider. When parents visit the hospital with a sick child in tow, they’re usually one patient out of a full list of patients. It’s challenging for a doctor to slow down and give thorough, detailed lessons regarding how to care for the child. They have a lot of other patients to see. However, a pediatric home health care professional is there to see your child and spend time with your family. When you’re dealing with such serious medical issues, it’s nice to have the specialized attention from a medical professional. 

Lastly, most parents don’t have the financial margin to stay at home with their sick child for days and weeks on end. They have to go to work to keep a roof over the family’s heads. When a parent can’t work because they have to tend to their sick child, this can lead to a whole host of other problems. Instead, a pediatric home nurse can take care of the child’s medical needs while the parents maintain peace of mind.

What to look for in your pediatric home health agency? 

When a parent has a sick child who is in dire need of medical attention at home, it might be tempting to take whatever they can quickly get. However, this is about the child’s health. The most important thing to remember is that you have to set a standard as the parent. Not all pediatric home health agencies are created equal. Knowing this, consider the following things to look for in a home health agency. 

Reviews

Does the agency have a lot of negative reviews, positive reviews, or a mix of both? Talk to trusted medical professionals to consider which agencies they’d recommend. One of the benefits of the internet is that you can read about the experiences of others. If everyone is saying that an agency is terrible, don’t put your child’s health at risk by being another statistic. 

Access

Since your child’s medical condition doesn’t take a break, it’s best to find a healthcare agency that offers 24-hour medical attention. When you’re able to have access to specialists at any time of day or night, this makes the experience a lot less stressful. 

Affiliations

Consider which organizations and hospitals the agency is affiliated with. It’s not easy to get accredited or approved by specific organizations. If an agency has the stamp of approval from a respected medical board, hospital, or medical organization, this is a good sign that the agency provides superior care. 

Years

How long has the particular agency been in operation? If they’re a new agency, you might want to slow down first to look at the years of each professional within the agency. If the agency’s professionals have a combined total of 75 years in service, this is a good sign.

Questions to ask your home health care provider: 

When you’re examining whether it’s a good idea to go with a particular health care provider, it’s best to have an interview process. During this time, you can ask them about the following topics. 

Length of time in the field

When you’re hiring a nurse, find out how long they’ve been in the nursing field. Since you’re looking for a pediatric nurse, it’s essential to ask about how long they’ve been in the pediatric nursing field. Pediatric nursing is entirely different from providing care as an ER nurse. 

Length of time in home health care

Working from the comforts of another person’s home is excellent when a nurse knows what they’re doing. If they don’t know how to navigate the premises and follow a specific protocol, the child might be in more danger at home. This is why experience as a home health nurse is essential. 

Transportation

Whether the agency provides a car or the nurse has one of their own, reliable transportation is essential. If you make a call and need the nurse to come in at 3 am, it’s impossible to rely on public transportation. Plus, time is of the essence in a house call. Whether you have this conversation with the agency or the nurse, confirm that transportation won’t be an issue. 

Consistency

If an agency has a high turnover rate, this might be a sign that it’s an unstable provider for your child’s well-being. Ask about how long the nurses stay as well as how consistent your provider will be. If you’re getting a new nurse every few weeks, this will become taxing on the family as you all will have to get used to a new person regularly. That’s not great for stability or a good rapport.

Does my child qualify for home health care? 

While this area requires more research, children who have challenging medical issues tend to qualify for pediatric home health care services. Some many conditions and sicknesses lead to home health care. If a child has a neurological condition such as cerebral palsy or chronic seizures, they can’t be left alone. They need a medical professional nearby to make sure they get the help they need. 

While plenty of premature infants stay in the hospital for weeks or months until they’re okay, it’s not uncommon for premature babies to receive assistance in the form of home health care services. 

When a child has an illness such as cancer or heart disease, there are a lot of daily challenges that require the assistance of a medical professional. Whether they’re recovering from surgery, dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy, or in need of IV therapy, these children tend to qualify for home health care services.

If a child has respiratory challenges that involve a tracheostomy, a brain injury, or the need for a ventilator, they qualify for home care as well. Typically, the hospital will help you gather information and remained informed regarding their recommendations for how to move forward with home health care services.

Does insurance pay for home health care? 

Pediatric home health care is an excellent service, but many parents get concerned about how to pay for it. When you’re looking at how to pay for it and whether insurance covers the expense, the answer is nuanced. It depends on the type of insurance the parents have. It depends on whether they qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. It would be a lot to think that parents would have to cover all of the costs out of their own pockets. There are resources available to assist parents from a financial perspective. However, when you’re looking at insurance companies, it’s a case-by-case issue.

How Can Centric Healthcare Help?

Centric Healthcare is a force to be reckoned with in Rochester, Minneapolis, and Austin, Minnesota. They’re able to provide 24-hour care. They only hire caregivers who’ve been professionally-trained extensively. The health group includes a range of specialists, including private duty nurses and more. The reviews of the Centric Healthcare are stellar. You also don’t have to worry about long-term contracts. Every child’s needs are different. Therefore, you’re able to create an arrangement that fully reflects the scope of what the family needs for that specific time frame. Plus, Centric Healthcare is equipped to handle anything with your child’s physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. For any parent, it’s comforting to know that a health care professional is committed to the holistic care and rehabilitation of their child.

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