Monday, April 11, 2011

Using Home Visits

Healing From The Heart

I returned the call late on a weekend evening to a person who is disabled. Her legs don’t work at all and her hands cause her difficulty. She was angry and seemed scared. She was in the emergency room the night before. She was having difficulty breathing and may have a pneumonia she told me. Her doctor wants her back to the hospital but she knows, that if she had the proper medication, she would be fine. “I have a nebulizer” she told me. “I just need a prescription for the medication”. I wondered what the doctor’s choices, if he really cared deeply for his patients could actually be.

It’s not my practice to make referrals but felt I could in this case. I suggested she may want to look at a Nurse Practitioner I know who makes house calls. I know many people who use his services. They all like him but I know him socially, not as a medical professional. He has a background of working with the disabled (his long-time companion is blind) and I have seen him interact lovingly with the elderly. He is someone who is in this job for all the right reasons.

He went to see her at her home and the message I got in the morning is that he was a “godsend”. Imagine if healthcare was always like this?
This woman, about my age, runs a fairly large business. She is bright and charming and very, very well respected in the community she serves. She can articulate her needs, assertive but also gentle. She has lived in her body her entire life and knows her limitations. She did not want to go back to the hospital. In her wheelchair, though electric and responsible, becomes a bother. Why, she wondered can’t the doctor just call in a prescription?

1 comment:

Anne Marie said...

As a GP in the UK I have made 4 home visits today. I'm very glad that this is still part of our practice as we can learn so much more about our patients and the circumstances they live it.