Guidelines for Relatives
Your relative (the patient) is either in hospital or a rehabilitation clinic and will be due for release shortly. At first, you should talk to the doctor in charge and the responsible public health and care nurses. They will contact the social services with regard to the transition of care, who will then inform you about specialised nursing care services for outpatient artificial respiration. Of course you may also freely consult the internet, your health care provider, or any other appropriate counselling service.
The next step is to arrange an initial appointment, either through the social services, or directly yourself, with the nursing care service of your choice. From experience, one of more phone calls may be necessary before the first meeting takes place.
An on-site visit will be used in order to personally get to know the patient and the relatives. At this stage, it would be useful to have all details of the patient's medical condition, the respiratory situation, the release date and respective possible date for the transfer of care, to hand. At this point, it is worth mentioning, that it does not matter whether the patient lives in just a one room apartment or in a house.It is the quality of life in the home domestic surroundings that is important.
After an initial verbal agreement with the nursing care service, it will be necessary to make arrangements for the specific care requirements. For this purpose, a care contract will have to be concluded and signed. All details therein will be discussed in advance with the patient and relatives.
Thereafter, the medical provision of the patient's needs will be organised by the nursing care service. An initial medical prescription will usually be issued by the doctor in charge at the hospital or rehabilitation clinic. On this basis of this prescription, the nursing care service will then contact the health care provider to clarify the costs for a one-to-one care provision (one nurse per patient).
Now, it is necessary to organise the required medical aids(respiratory equipment, suction apparatus, healthcare bed, etc.). This is done in consultation with the (rehabilitation) clinic. On request, we will complete all the formalities and organise all the necessary medical care aids. In any event, it is advisable to check the situation at home together with the nursing care service, in regard to the new requirements. Experienced nurses can see at a glance where improvements are necessary and possible.
Once the patient is released from hospital, all necessary medical aids, materials and equipment has to be available at home. The patient arrives at home by ambulance in the company of a doctor, and is handed over to the nursing team in the presence of the ward sister. The patient is then connected to the respiratory devices at home and from this time on will be looked after and taken care of by a team of qualified care nurses.