A key step to ensure that a child can safely transition home and stay there is to increase the capability and the confidence of the child’s caregiver(s) so the child receives appropriate care. The Children’s Healthcare Center always tries to train a minimum of two caregivers – parents, siblings and/or others – so they can provide the needed care.
Caregiver training is tailored to meet each child’s and caregiver’s individual needs. Equipment used in training is identical to that which will be used in the home.
The training process is thorough. The staff demonstrates techniques and procedures for the child’s specific needs. Caregivers then repeat the steps so the trainer can help them learn correct methods. Prior to the child’s discharge, every caregiver must demonstrate competence with the medical needs of the child, including familiarity and the ability to deal with:
- Apnea – what it is and dealing with the monitor;
- Medications – the names of each and their purpose;
- G-Tube, N/G Tube or J-Tube – its purpose and caring for site;
- Trach – tracheotomy site, care, cleaning and changing tube;
- Ventilator Care – purpose of the equipment, familiarity with equipment, changing tubes;
- Routine Infant Care – with emphasis on child’s health and safety;
- Seizures – types and how to attempt to control them and the frequency;
- Cast Care – care and positioning for comfort; seeking physician aid for complications; and
- Wound Care – cleaning, preventing infection and changing dressing.
Families/Caregivers are encouraged to spend 24 hours at the center prior to the child’s discharge from the program. This allows the caregiver to see and understand some challenges that may occur during the night. During this time, caregivers are encouraged to care for their child while staff observes and offers guidance when necessary. The goal of the stay is to help build a level of competence and confidence in the caregiver’s ability to care for the child.
Transporting a medically fragile, or medically complex child, or a child who has suffered an accident or illness can be challenging. At the Children’s Healthcare Center, caregivers are trained to transport their child and all required medical equipment in a safe and efficient manner.
To learn more about the Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center, please call 773-205-3611.