Care Where You Are: The Unique Role of Our Parent Child Health Team

A male nurse writes on a clipboard as he speaks to a young girl patient, who is seated on a comfortable chair with an IV in her arm at her home.

What comes to mind when you think of Home Care?

If you’re like most people, you may associate Home Care with older patients who need help managing a chronic condition or patients who receive treatment at home after surgery.

While we certainly care for many patients who fit the criteria above, South Shore VNA prides itself on caring for patients of all ages – from Day 1 to age 101 (and beyond).

Patients who fall on the younger end of that spectrum receive care from a special group: our Parent Child Health (PCH) Team.

Our PCH Team occupies a unique place in the healthcare landscape, offering pediatric patients and their families a way to receive specialized, expert care outside of a hospital setting.

What is the Parent Child Health Team?

South Shore VNA’s Parent Child Health (PCH) Team is a group of skilled nurses who specialize in providing Home Care services for infants, older children, and ante/postpartum parents after they’re discharged from the hospital.

The PCH nurses have the specialized training required to care for the specific health needs of these young patients.

For example, some of our nurses are trained in pediatric oncology, while others are trained as lactation consultants.

The nurses bring the tools they need, like infant oximeters, baby scales, and child-sized blood pressure cuffs, right to the patient’s home.

Which patients receive care from the Parent Child Health Team?

As the name would suggest, our PCH Team provides care for parents and children:

  • Parents include both pregnant and postpartum parents.
  • Children include patients ranging newborns up to 18 years of age.

After age 18, our PCH patients receive care from our adult nursing team.

Care for Children: Oxygen, Oncology, & More

Our pediatric patient population is diverse, ranging from just a few days old to those in their teenage years.

As a result, our PCH nurses must be flexible, using different skills and tools to care for different patient groups.

Some PCH nurses specialize in particular aspects of care – for example, we have nurses who are trained in pediatric oncology and offer expert, home-based care for children with cancer.

These services can allow a child with cancer to limit trips to the hospital and get antibiotics, nutrition, and even have their labs drawn or receive chemotherapy from the comfort of home.

Our PCH nurses also care for children with respiratory illnesses, cardiac conditions, diabetes, and failure to thrive, offering oxygen, infusion, and bilirubin therapies.

Care for Parents: Pregnancy Monitoring, Early Maternal Discharge, & More

Similar to the pediatric population, our “Parent” group features a diverse patient mix that can be divided into two main categories: antepartum (before birth) and postpartum (after birth).

For pregnant patients, our team treats a number of pregnancy-related complications, including high blood pressure and hyperemesis (severe vomiting). Our nurses assist with IV hydration, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) therapy, IV antibiotics, blood pressure monitoring, and more.

These services allow pregnant patients to get the care they need without requiring admission to the hospital or frequent trips to a provider’s office.

PCH nurses often see Early Maternal Discharge (EMD) patients, or patients who leave the hospital 24-48 hours after delivery. For these patients, our nurses will check their blood pressure, inspect any wounds or incisions, and offer general education about both infant and postpartum care, including feeding.

Finally, our PCH Team also features lactation specialists who visit patients in their homes to assist with any breastfeeding complications.

During these home visits, our lactation consultants offer one-on-one guidance to breastfeeding parents, helping them navigate what can be a stressful period in the privacy of their homes.

The Role of PCH Care in the Healthcare Landscape

PCH care ensures that parents or children continue to get the appropriate level of care, reducing the risk of hospital readmission or frustrating health setbacks. Patients can be discharged with confidence, knowing that they’ll still receive high-quality care at home.

This, in turn, can help free up vital hospital resources for other patients, which is particularly important during periods of high patient volume – like when instances of pediatric respiratory illnesses are on the rise.

PCH care gives hospitals an effective treatment option for children who are stable enough to go home but still require some follow-up care. The PCH nurses can monitor oxygen levels, checking breathing, and more, while the hospital is able to use its resources to help another sick child.

How Can I Get PCH Services?

PCH services require a referral, usually upon discharge from the hospital.

In some cases, a primary care provider (PCP) or specialist can initiate a referral for PCH services as well.

Learn more about Home Care at South Shore Health.