Health care needs don’t defer to the calendar or the weather forecast. Babies are born in the most blinding of blizzards and appendixes don’t wait until Monday at 9:00am to burst. Likewise, the needs of RVNA patients don’t go on hold for holidays or storms. RVNA understands, expects, and plans for this …
For RVNA patients, weekends and holidays are “business as usual,” says RN Team Lead, Julie Gold, RN, BSN. “We operate on a 7 day-a-week schedule all year long, onboarding new patients, discharging graduating patients, and caring for those on service. While there is a tendency to have more visits during the weekdays, RVNA is staffed and ready to go every day of the week.”
And when foul weather is imminent, the RVNA team shifts into overdrive to ensure that homebound patients have their medical needs covered. Here is how the process unfolds:
RVNA starts by contacting and/or visiting all patients in advance of a storm to assess their present condition, ensure that they have medications to last through any extreme weather event, ensure any wounds are freshly and properly treated, and that all of our patients have a clear plan in place in the event of a power outage. This is critical — especially for patients on medical equipment that requires electricity.
Throughout a storm, RVNA continues to visit any/all patients with critical needs, assists as needed with evacuations in the event of power outages; works closely and in concert with local police and fire departments when necessary to serve patients who may be difficult to reach or need emergency help. On their rounds, RVNA staff also deliver food and home products from the RVNA Food Pantry to any patients in need. Additionally, for emergencies, RVNA always has an on-call nurse on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“Being trapped at home during a storm can be an anxious time for anybody,” says Julie Gold, “and it can be particularly distressing if you are not feeling well. The RVNA team is here to ensure that our patients are well cared for regardless of the forecast or conditions.”
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