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On Call

by FKF17 FKF17 (New) New Educator Nurse

Specializes in Home Care/Hosoice. Has 11 years experience.

Hello- I am new to this board - so thank you in advance- I have been in home care for many years I am  just now "officially" getting into hospice. Though I have had many collaborations with hospice- I am very new to the actual workings behind the scenes in hospice. My first question is about on -call - when the call is triaged what type of situations can be handled over the phone and which require a visit? there seems to be a difference opinion in the agency where I am now so I would like to get other opinions.

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 11 years experience.

From others I've talked to some of these decisions are dictated by agency policy. One nurse I know worked for an agency that required a visit for every call. 

I work for an agency that leaves this to the nurse discretion. Deaths automatically get a visit. Otherwise, I don't know that I can clearly differentiate between what constitutes as a visit or just a call (or calls). So many factors play into this. I offer a visit with almost every call. If I get multiple calls on a patient I tend to encourage a visit. If we are managing a symptom, I will typically do a phone check in an hour or so after new orders are implemented to assess effectiveness. Also, sometimes visits are for patient/ caregiver support and those visits are just as important.