Are you a family member, friend, or relative of someone who has just completed a surgery who is providing home nursing? Don’t know where to start because you’re not familiar with it or the home care services in Singapore?
When a patient leaves the hospital, post-surgery or emergency care, they require special attention. In a hospital, they are surrounded by 24/7 supportive, trained nursing care and attention to an informal.
At home, the patient will need either someone who is experienced, willing to learn, or a nurse at home.
When you’re a family member who has taken on the task of primary caregiver, you can feel all alone, lost, flustered and overwhelmed. What more if you’re an expat living in a foreign country needing urgent medical or nursing care.
Patients and their home nursing caregivers are sometimes, for the most part, left to themselves to formulate their own daily routines (as advised by medical professionals before their discharge) to sufficiently manage the medical needs of the patient.
When someone in your family is sick and needs care at home or requires frequent visits to the clinic or hospital, it can be overwhelming. The tasks are never-ending. Millions of people all around the world, pandemic or not, are struggling with the need of professional care, advice, and guidance when it comes to home nursing care.
For the family members, here are some tips and advice.
Having someone experienced and professionally-trained for nursing care at home will make a world of difference. The term "nursing care" defines the provision of care that involves planning, supervision, and the delegation of responsibilities related to caring for a patient in a suitable environment, using the right tools.
At times, you need a nurse; other times, you don’t.
Nursing care can be done at home by family members and if you work closely with a doctor or nurse regularly, being able to tap into their experiences will keep you composed.
As most nursing care experts can tell you, what you need is to:
Contact with people for emergencies and routine check-ups
A proper room or board
Medication/tools/personal care items
Access to 24/7 emergency care
Understand the needs of the patient
Patience, understanding, and compassion
Adjustments to your schedule
Social and recreational activities
Ways to monitor medication and changes in behaviour
Bear in mind that every patient is different. The things and tools you need may be different depending on the patient.
As home nursing caregivers, we need easy access to the room during emergencies, expecting frequent ins and outs throughout the day. If possible, assign a room that is closest to the entry point of the home or the ground floor of a multi-storey home.
During the day, the room in which the patient is housed needs natural light and a night light. This is so that when they need to reach out for items placed within the room or even the bedside table, it is easy to get to them.
This might sound rudimentary but because the patient may need wound care or have difficulty getting to the bathroom, using fitted bed sheets allows for easy changing. If necessary, use bed pads.
If you don’t have permanent handrails or fixed bars the patient can use while changing his or her clothes, you may need to install or rearrange the furniture in the patient room to include a stable chair, table, cabinet, etc, next to the closet.
Caring for a patient after surgery or diagnosis can be daunting for first-timers. On top of spending our energy on working out the minutiae details of transportation, waiting in queues, there are also concerns about the cost of hiring experienced nursing caregivers, management of schedules, and proper self-care routines.
Medical appointments, as we all know all too well, takes a toll on both the caregiver and patient. Mobility and transportation should be one of the top priorities. When you have a nursing care professional step in during unforeseen circumstances or emergencies, things are much easier!
For example, there’s less anxiety and stress for instances like misplaced nasogastric tubes or replacement of IV drip when you have assistance or training from medical professionals.
We understand that not everyone has the privilege of having a family member or friend who can provide round-the-clock nursing care. This is when you may need to consider getting help outside of the family.
Read the comparison we’ve made earlier about nursing care and nursing homes here before making a decision. A feasible and less stressful nursing care plan has to be put in place based on the cooperation between healthcare providers, relatives, and other outside help the family may engage.
When the patient gets to heal in their own abode, not only is it cheaper but also more comfortable.
Most importantly, when you are working with experienced doctors and nurses, there will be support is readily-available. They’re your team members in preparing and following up with the caregiving nursing plan.
Speedoc nurses are capable of delivering quality nursing care for your family members at home and it includes medication administration, wound care and management, removal of stitches and staples, caring for bedsores, blood-taking for both children and adults, stoma care and much, much more.
There’s comfort and peace of mind in knowing that someone has your back. Over time, you’ll develop a good rapport with the nurses and eventually, the tasks become less daunting.
There is an assumption that getting nursing care help at home in Singapore is expensive. This cannot be further from the truth.
For one, every patient is unique about our requirements, needs, and preferences. With personalised nursing medical care plans for the patient, the cost will even out. Over time, you’ll need less and less help.
Secondly, ferrying a mobility-impaired or bedridden patient for regular health check-ups, wound management, blood-taking, removal of stitches, administration of medication, or changing the IV drip is tiring and costly at a medical facility. You’ll be surprised with how inexpensive getting a house call nurse to do it at the comfort of your own home is.
To find a workable plan and alternative assistance for the primary caregiver, discuss it with your family members and consider using the services offered by Speedoc who can send our medical team over to your home to help out.
Using an app to connect with nursing care providers can truly heighten the effectiveness of the process. Imagine being always only one tap away from professional help!
Last but not least, remember that YOU, the primary caregiver, should also take care of yourself. Caring for a patient is a challenge but it can also be highly rewarding. Here’s a good list of tips for nursing care providers that will help you overcome some of the challenges you might face along the journey.