Things to Know Before Entering a Patient’s Home for the First Time

Are you a caregiver getting ready for your first at-home visit with a patient? While you’ve likely met all necessary training requirements, refreshing yourself about the preparation process will make your initial interactions with a patient a positive experience for both of you. Here are three important things to keep in mind before entering a patient’s home for the first time:


Be prepared to discuss the patient’s in-home health plan.

As you visit a patient at their home for the first time, it’s essential that you’re prepared to discuss with them their individualized home health plan. Setting expectations so both you and the patient understand that type of care will be delivered is necessary for both parties to feel comfortable with the delivery of services. Aspects of a home health plan may include the patient’s medical service needs; any non-medical services (such as cooking or cleaning); and general house rules (such as rooms that are off limits). Recording all this information in a written agreement will ensure a mutual understanding between both you and the patient moving forward.


Discuss the patient’s health condition in detail.

As a caregiver, you’ll need to understand your patient’s health conditions and medical issues in detail so you can provide the best assistance possible. From checking a patient’s vital signs (such as blood pressure or pulse) to monitoring their physical condition and day-to-day health needs (such as eating or going to the bathroom), it’s imperative that you’re fully informed about the patient’s health status well before your first at-home visit.


Demonstrate caring and compassion.

When somebody enlists the help of a caregiver, typically they are in a vulnerable state in their life in which they need help and assistance performing basic life tasks. Because of this vulnerability, demonstrating caring and compassion for a new patient will set the stage for a successful relationship in which the individual feels at ease. Patience, active listening, and flexibility are all traits of a compassionate caregiver who supports their patient’s personal, medical, and emotional needs.


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