Jump to content

Discharge of Homeless Pediatric Patient

Pediatric   (2,678 Views 8 Comments)
by LiveZen LiveZen (Member)

2,966 Profile Views; 125 Posts

I'm a student nurse, and a patient I worked through my volunteering at the children's hospital got me thinking about this...

What guidelines does your hospital use for discharging unaccompanied homeless youth (under 18)? Does the presence of psychiatric conditions change the guidelines?

I don't know what my hospital does, and figured it probably (HIIPA) wouldn't be a good idea to ask....

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

6,372 Posts; 34,530 Profile Views

Is the patient an emancipated minor? If not, I would think that there would have to be some "adult figure" (parent, family member, DFS representative) taking responsibility for getting the patient to a safe setting post-discharge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

125 Posts; 2,966 Profile Views

I wish I knew more facts of the situation. There were no parents with the patient at the time, so I'm not sure whose charge he would be under. He was 15 years old.

Would CPS or DFS get involved if the youth really was living on the street without an adult?

I'm just getting started with nursing school, and I'm really interested in how homeless populations are affected in healthcare.

Thanks for your response!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

15 Followers; 155 Articles; 20,879 Posts; 188,525 Profile Views

In IL where I live, a person can obtain mental health care (and sign consent for it) at the age of 12!. They also have to sign to allow their parents access to their care plan. So...it is possible that this 15 y/o sought help for mental illness or substance abuse and actually does live on his own.

This state stinks in that mental health still has the stigma of being untouchable. Sorry for the personal rant - this is just too close to home for me.

To the OP if you live in IL - I'd be glad to provide some links and/or possibilities for social service intervention. I live near Peoria, IL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

125 Posts; 2,966 Profile Views

Wow! That information is very surprising. I'm in Ohio, not sure what the laws are around here. I'll have to look into it.

This may sound silly, but this is why I thought he might be homeless with psychological problems. It is really hot in OH right now (we're talking high 80's and super humid!) and he was dressed in a very inappropriate outfit...old suit pants, with a tank top undershirt and an old suit coat. Definitely not something most people would be wearing. He was alone and had no personal items at all in the room.

Also, he looked as if he had gotten into some sort of fight. I was running the "movie cart" (where the kiddos can rent free DVDs) and he said he wasn't allowed to have movies. I checked with the nurses, they debated it for a couple minutes because he "wasn't on contract, so they weren't sure" and eventually said yes.

Is this just me imagining a story or is this good observation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

190 Posts; 2,794 Profile Views

I couldn't imagine that the hospital would discharge a child to the street. Someone, somewhere along the way should address that. It is sad that children actually have to live that life. I wish there was more that could reasonably be done to help them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kidrn911 has 12 years experience and specializes in Peds ED, Peds Stem Cell Transplant, Peds.

331 Posts; 7,285 Profile Views

In IL where I live, a person can obtain mental health care (and sign consent for it) at the age of 12!. They also have to sign to allow their parents access to their care plan. So...it is possible that this 15 y/o sought help for mental illness or substance abuse and actually does live on his own.

This state stinks in that mental health still has the stigma of being untouchable. Sorry for the personal rant - this is just too close to home for me.

To the OP if you live in IL - I'd be glad to provide some links and/or possibilities for social service intervention. I live near Peoria, IL.

That may be the case but at the Peds hospital I work at in chicago, we never allow a child sign for discharge unless they are 18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

1,318 Posts; 10,723 Profile Views

where I am a patient, parent or guardian needs to be there for under 18, and they really prefer some other adult when over. You HAVE to be discharged to a private vehicle, or taxi, you can not be going on the pubic transportation system

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×