Having a loved one admitted to the hospital can be a challenging experience. As much as you want to be there for them full time, the truth of the matter is -it’s not possible. You must keep going to work as well as take care of your other loved ones.
To help ease this burden, specialized caregivers are available for hire. Known as hospital sitters, their mission is to make your loved one’s stay in hospital as comfortable and worry-free as possible.
This article is aimed at giving you insight on everything that you should know about hospital sitters.
Help is There When You Need It
Try as they might, doctors and nurses just can’t offer round the clock service to each patient. Hospital sitters solve this problem, they can give their undivided attention to a single patient. Having a person providing this kind of service makes your hospital stay more bearable.
Although they give non-medical assistance, hospital sitters play an essential role in helping medical staff. Since they spend more time with you or your loved one, they can provide unique insights about your health condition that doctors and nurses could have missed.
Who Needs Hospital Sitters?
The services of these caregivers are suitable for all types of patients, ranging from children to seniors. The actual service provided will depend on the complexity of your medical needs. You can hire them for patients who need periodic checkups as well as those who need constant observation.
The more complicated your needs are, the more beneficial a hospital sitter will be to you. Because a patient is somewhat incapacitated during their hospital stay, the sitter will be alert to every change that occurs in your condition and duly inform the relevant medical staff. Some of the types of patients that need hospital sitters include:
- New Mothers
- Mental health patients
- Patients recovering from surgery
With these professional caregivers at their side, they will be quite responsive to the medical treatment they receive at the hospital.
Qualities of a Competent Patient Sitter
As with any career, some attributes make one best suited to become a hospital sitter. These caregivers need to possess outstanding personal and professional qualities because they spend a lot of time with patients at arguably the most vulnerable points of their lives. The most admirable qualities you’ll find in the best patient sitters are:
- Excellent communication skills. This is required because they’ll be in constant communication with the patient, medical staff as well as the patient’s family, friends, and visitors. To provide reliable feedback on how your loved one is faring, they must be able to communicate concisely.
- Alertness. A good hospital sitter is keen about her patients and their surrounding. Top notch observational skills give them the ability to notice any change in their patient’s condition and swiftly notify hospital staff.
- Flexibility. This refers to both their schedules and the ability to handle patients. A suitable hospital sitter will be in a position to work shifts that are most beneficial to her patient. She/he should also be able to manage patients with different medical complexities.
- Patience. As you are aware, being admitted to the hospital can be a testing time for most people.
Some patients will exhibit extreme temperaments; sometimes as a side effect of their medication. Their hospital sitter should ideally be understanding and calmly guide them through these trying times.
- Lovable personality. Confinement to a hospital can be a dull experience. You need a sitter who is composed and with the natural ability to uplift your spirits.
Their cheerful nature and infectious charm will go a long way in making your hospital stay shorter and more memorable.
- First Aid Skills. Although hospital sitters offer non-medical services to their clients, having early aid skills makes them better suited to take care of you or your loved one during emergencies.
For example, if the patient chokes on his food, his sitter can administer first aid before medical professionals arrive at the scene.
- Compassion and empathy. A good sitter is not only able to understand your needs but also put herself in your shoes. This deeper understanding means she is more committed to helping you get better.
From the above qualities, you can tell that hospital sitting is a noble calling that requires one to have a strong desire for helping others in their hour of need.
Services Offered by Hospital Sitters
Demand for patient sitter services has been steadily increasing over the years. This is due to the personalized care they give their clients. Although they offer non-medical services, they play an integral part in hastening a patient’s recovery.
Some of the services offered by hospital sitters include:
- Observing the patient throughout her stay in the hospital. Depending on your needs, this can be done in shifts to ensure your loved one is cared for 24 hours a day.
- Updating concerned parties on the progress of your hospital stay. These parties include medical staff, your family as well as other visitors you might receive.
- Implementing the doctor’s recommendations concerning the patient’s recovery. These include medication reminders and sensitive post-surgery safeguards.
- Ensuring your hospital stay is as comfortable as possible. They do this by taking care of your hygiene, feeding you, and keeping you warm. They also entertain you through conversation, games, songs and other pleasant activities.
- Running any errands on your behalf during your stay in the hospital. Such chores might include forwarding messages to your family or other associates, making inquiries from medical staff, and fetching sentimental items that might make your hospital stay more bearable.
- Noting down your doctor’s visits and the procedures performed during such visits. By spending the most time with patients, hospital sitters are also in a unique position to inform their doctors of any changes to their wellbeing, however slight.
- Monitoring the patient’s vital signs and alerting medical staff of any drastic change. Hospital sitters can observe changes in blood pressure, heart rate, fever, and other vital signs.
Patient sitters offer customized services that go beyond the care you might receive from medical professionals.
Benefits of Hiring Specialized Caregivers
Due to the non-medical nature of the services they offer, you might underestimate the impact hospital sitters have on your wellbeing. They create for you a fresh state of mind away from the unpleasant feeling of your hospital stay.
One of the most significant benefits of hiring these caregivers is the peace of mind you gain from their services. You can confidently carry on with pending professional and personal appointments, safe in the knowledge that your loved one is being cared for round the clock. This reduces or completely does away with any stress that might be caused by hospital admission.
Hospital sitters also save you money because their services are generally more affordable than those of their medically trained counterparts. With a sitter watching over your loved ones, you’ll have fewer interruptions to your work or business schedule. Their services might also hasten the patient’s recovery process which ultimately saves you the amount you would have paid for an extended hospital stay.
Due to their constant presence, they also prevent the patient from suffering additional injuries that might be caused by falls and neglect. Such damages might require further medical procedures to treat leading to higher costs.
Another advantage of patient sitters is that they prevent your loved ones from self-harm. Other than being susceptible to accidental falls, some patients might not be in the right frame of mind during their hospital stay. As part of observing their clients, sitters also help in restraining aggressive individuals. In extreme situations, these might include suicide prevention measures.
It doesn’t always have to reach such critical levels. By offering companionship, hospital sitters can help in managing their patient’s depression, as well as other mental health issues. Ultimately, this companionship might prevent such mental problems from snowballing into unmanageable complications.
All in all, hospital sitters provide comfort and peace of mind not only to their patients but to everyone else in their clients’ lives, from medical staff to colleagues, family, and friends.
The Future of Hospital Sitting Services
Because demand for medical services is projected to keep rising, there will be a corresponding increase in hospital sitter needs. A cost-benefit analysis of these services shows that they lead to cost savings for both hospitals and patients.
Hospital staff can serve their patients better when they have a dedicated professional looking after them. That’s because patient sitters give medical staff all the relevant information required to improve service delivery. Overall, medics also get to serve more people because sitters assist with the more time-consuming task of observing patients.
For patients and their loved ones, hospital sitters will keep filling the gap in patient care needs at an affordable. It costs less for you to hire a patient sitter than a licensed nurse to take care of your loved one.
Cost of Hiring a Patient Sitter
The amount you pay for hospital sitting services depends on various factors. These include:
- The complexity of your medical condition
- How long you’ll stay in the hospital
- Whether you need part-time or full-time care
- The patient sitter’s level of experience and expertise
- Precisely what kind of services hospitals allow sitters to provide.
Before hiring a patient sitter, it’s essential to have a clear job description of what exactly they’ll do for you or your loved one. This will be done through a signed contract that contains these details as well as the rates you’ll pay. You should always make sure you pay through legally accepted channels to prevent breaking any tax related laws.
A fair way of assessing cost is by agreeing on a fixed hourly rate. From here, you get to decide how many hours of care you’re comfortable paying for. The more experienced a hospital sitter is, the higher her rates are likely to be.
Choosing the Right Hospital Sitter
Most patient sitters are only required to have a minimum of a high school diploma. Although this makes the barrier to entry low, some employers need their patient sitters to have additional qualifications. These might include training in a medical related course as well as some experience in a hospital set up.
Good hospital sitters have a reputation that precedes them. If you find positive online reviews about a patient sitter, chances are they’re very good at what they do. Former clients are also a good way of gauging how professional a sitter is. If they speak highly of the care they received in the past, you should probably go ahead and hire that particular sitter.
Even with professional training, hospital sitters’ most admirable qualities are apparent in their natural abilities. These include empathy, compassion, patience, strong interpersonal skills, teamwork, and dependability. Most sharpen their caregiver skills through job training.
While some patient sitters offer their services as independent freelancers, you’re better off hiring from a firm that specializes in offering caregiver services. Due to their expertise in the field, such firms are able to provide you with a sitter that meets your exact needs.
They also make sure their employees meet all necessary legal requirements, such as passing criminal background checks and conforming to state and federal regulations. Such companies are also able to provide you with a broader range of services at more affordable rates. Other than their core hospital sitter services, they are available 24 hours a day and can respond to any concerns you might have.
Are You in Need of Hospital Sitter Services?
If you or a loved one are scheduled to be admitted in the hospital, hiring a hospital sitter will take a big part of that burden off your shoulder. Mom’s Home Care has been providing specialized caregiver services for more than 30 years now. Our years of experience in this field mean we understand both the physical and emotional needs of our clients.
Apart from having years of experience in the field, we respond fast to your need for customized patient sitter services. No matter how complicated the patient’s needs are, chances are we have dealt with such situations before and can effortlessly handle them.
Other than being qualified professionals, our caregivers also have years of on the job training. We make a point of hiring people with excellent communication skills, patience, compassion, empathy and a readiness to listen to the people they care for. If you’re in Los Angeles, CA and would like to know more about our services, don’t hesitate to call us at 323-244-4789.