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Home Health Care

South Shore Visiting Nurses Team

Our goal is to provide continuity of care within a team framework. The type and amount of South Shore Visiting Nurse Association (SSVNA) services, including the frequency of home visits, is determined by your clinical needs in accordance with orders from the attending physician and interdisciplinary team, which includes the patient and caregiver.

The Interdisciplinary Team

The patient and caregiver are the central members of the interdisciplinary team, which may include any or all of the following:

Skilled Nursing (SN)

A primary nurse will be assigned to you to oversee your nursing care. There will be instances when visits will be made by alternate nurses who assist the primary nurse. Nurses provide direct patient care that covers a wide range of treatments, as well as education for patients and caregivers  regarding medications, disease management, and all aspects of self-care. Nurses also provide skilled evaluations for attending physicians. Many of our nurses have additional specialized training in areas such as intravenous therapy, wound care, ostomy care, pain management, oncology, palliative care, rehabilitation nursing, diabetes, cardiac care, and maternal/child health.

Physical therapy (PT)

Physical therapists provide rehabilitation and exercise programs to help patients become as mobile, functional and independent as possible. They make recommendations for equipment needs to facilitate independence and safety, and educate about use of the equipment.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupational therapists provide training in activities of daily living. This may include assisting patients with the purchase of adaptive equipment, if necessary, and providing education in use of the equipment. Occupational Therapy is available once nursing, physical therapy, or speech therapy services have begun.

Speech/language pathology (SLP)

Speech/language pathologists provide exercises and instruction for patients to learn, relearn, or improve their speech, language, or cognitive skills. They also perform assessments and make recommendations for patients with swallowing problems.

Clinical social worker (MSS)

Social workers provide emotional support and counseling to patients and their families in coping with problems caused by illness, disability, and /or deteriorating health. If indicated, they also provide assistance in finding other community resources.

Home Health Aide (HHA)

Home health aides are trained to provide personal care such as bathing, shampooing, shaving, skin care, mouth care, and changing linens. As an adjunct to personal care, they may also do meal preparation or light housekeeping directly related to the plan of care. The home health aide works under the supervision of a registered nurse or therapist, who establishes the plan of care for the aide. All of our home health aides are certified.

The Role of the Home Health Aide

If included in your plan of care, the home health aide may assist with personal care activities:

  • Shower, sponge bath, or bed bath
  • Weighing the patient
  • Shampooing hair
  • Applying elastic stockings or ace bandages
  • Shaving
  • Nail care (no cutting)
  • Mouth care
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Reminders to take medications
  • Assistance with feeding
  • Assistance with transfers
  • Assistance with walking
  • Assistance with exercise program

When the above needs are met and time allows, the aide may:

  • Prepare meals
  • Wash patient’s laundry
  • Perform light housekeeping

The Home Health Aide is not allowed to:

  • Perform CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Administer any medications, including eye drops and over-the-counter medications
  • Pick up or drop off prescriptions
  • Give enemas and suppositories
  • Change sterile bandages
  • Transport the patient in any vehicle
  • Perform any banking or check cashing
  • Charge purchases
  • Pay bills
  • Buy alcoholic beverages
  • Provide heavy-duty housekeeping
  • Work in the yard
  • Shovel snow
  • Work directly for a patient outside the scheduled South Shore VNA scheduled visit time 
    

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