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Home healthcare workers say they are also on the frontlines

Workers help patients transition from hospital to home
Posted at 8:06 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 01:38:53-04

TUCSON, Ariz — Workers in the home healthcare field say its an area that some might not think about. However, they can become a big factor for those who need long-term care. Right now healthcare workers at hospitals are facing major challenges while they battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, there are other healthcare workers who spend their days helping patients after they leave the hospital as they continue their healing process at home.

Kristen Brown is a registered nurse and she runs Advisacare in Tucson. Brown says her 40 person team is responsible for helping patients transition from the hospital to rebuilding their health at home. Advisacare nurses, therapists and caregivers help treat patients who have a wide range of medical needs. Some workers also help with services like food preparation, administering medication and shopping. According to Brown they perform nearly every healthcare service except for surgery, but that could potentially happen in the future.

"I think its very important that Tucson knows we are not closing our doors. Were the ones that go into the homes to make sure that it's safe for the patient make sure that the patient is taking their meds. We're just as much or at more risk because at home you don't have the pleasure of having supplies at your finger tips," Brown said.

While getting supplies for healthcare workers is tough, Brown says her team is optimistic. They're taking precautions before they enter a home and are required to wear an N-95 or surgical masks along with gloves for the entire shift. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic Advisacare workers are also seeing a big change in connections between hospital and home healthcare workers. There are 21 Advisacare locations across the country including 1 in Tucson and 3 in Phoenix.

"All of our healthcare workers and clinicians take our temperature so the client so they can see that it's normal then we can walk in. I can feel a better bond between healthcare workers because we're putting ourselves at risk even more than we normally do. I want the public to know that we practice everything that the CDC guidelines recommend. We don't currently have any positive coronavirus patients but we would treat them just the same as any other patient," Brown said.

For more information on Advisacare......