Services for Children with Complex Medical Needs
Supporting children with complex medical needs and their families is a strategic focus at VHA Home HealthCare. At VHA, our health care teams can provide some or all of the following services depending on your needs and your geographic region.
VHA's skilled child and family nurses deliver one-on-one care in the community, at schools and clinics as well as in the home. Child and family nursing focuses on providing safe and timely client care supported by medical orders, and collaborating with families, children and health care professionals to achieve optimal results. These nurses can also provide system navigation of health care and community services. At VHA, we have both shift nurses and visiting nurses which deliver care to our clients.
Shift nurses provide care for a minimum of 3 hours in a home or school setting, including bus escorts for schools and attending medical appointments with clients (with HCCSS approval). Shift nurses also support personal care and medical interventions such as tube feed preparation and medication administration. Lastly, these nurses will also ensure that all medical equipment and supplies (syringes, feeding bags/bottles/tubes and suction) in the home are clean and taken care of.
Visiting nurses provide goal-oriented care–usually in a short-term capacity. The visit is specific to a task or goal that is then taught and delegated to the client/parent/carer or school staff to do, if possible.
Personal Support Workers (PSWs) provide various types of personal care for paediatric clients that have a big impact their quality of life. Support can range from helping to keep the environment where you child receives care safe and clean, helping to feed your child or warm their meals, and/or helping to get your child ready for school or being there when you child returns from school (unfortunately PSWs are not authorized to pick children up from the bus stop).
Rehab professionals could include an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, dietitian and/or a social worker as part of your care team. These professionals provide a thorough assessment of your child’s needs and determine the best plan for them, such as:
- Encouraging safe movement at home by suggesting modifications to the environment to maximize safety and participation.
- Providing activities and/or exercises to encourage crawling, rolling, walking, etc to improve developmental skills
- Helping with feeding by providing consultation on your child’s nutritional needs and addressing swallowing difficulties or food aversions.
- Improving talking and communicating through consultation and treatment for speech and language issues.
- Helping access community resources and assisting with the completion of funding and program applications as needed.
- Improving functional skills through activities or recommendations that help with dressing, playing, printing, writing and keyboarding.
- Sensory strategies to improve your child’s ability to engage in meaningful activity may also be provided.
- Consultations in schools and with school personnel to enable your child to participate safely in all school activities as they are able. Home programs may be provided as needed. A copy of written recommendations will be given to the school.