Welcoming a home health nurse into your home can be a nerve-wracking experience. No matter how qualified the nurse may be, a new person is entering into the lives of you and your loved one, and trust needs to be established. This can also be a challenging time for the home health nurse as they are coming into a new home without prior knowledge of how the household operates. Your home health nurse wants to provide the best care possible, while respecting your home and wishes. But it’s not always easy for everyone in the house to adjust to the new dynamic.
Give a Welcoming Tour
A warm welcome can help put everyone’s nerves at ease. Let your home health nurse know that they should feel comfortable in your home and that you are available to answer any questions that may pop up regarding the home or your loved one’s care. Offer a tour and be sure to point out any areas of importance, such as the bathroom, where medications are stored, and where the nurse may keep any belongings.
Communicate Openly and Discuss Expectations
The clearer you are with house rules, the more comfortable a home health nurse will feel that they are respecting your space. For example, you may prefer that the nurse does not answer the door if the doorbell rings, but you don’t mind if they use your coffeemaker. Discussing expectations will lead to less anxiety and will make the transition easier for both you and the nurse.
When in Doubt, Write It Out
You know your loved one best, so when it comes to scheduling, activities, and likes/dislikes, you’ve become an expert. Download and print this form to help your home health nurse get to know your loved one. Sharing this information with the home health nurse will give them a head start on getting to know your loved one and what is important. Even if it seems like the connection between your loved one and nurse is strong, small details can make the relationship even stronger, which can bolster your loved one’s health and mood.
Be Open to Change
Remember that your home health nurse is there to take care of your loved one and may have suggestions or ideas on how to make things easier. This could be something simple, such as moving a piece of furniture to fit necessary medical equipment, or something larger, such as switching rooms so that your loved one is closer to the bathroom. You have brought this nurse into your home for their expertise and support, so take the time to listen and think about changes before making a definitive decision.
Both you and your home health nurse have the same goal, which is to provide the best care possible for your loved one. It’s important to keep this in mind as everyone in the home adjusts to having a new person around. By communicating clearly and being open to new ways of caring for your loved one, an understanding environment will be created that will benefit everyone in the house.