Jeffrey Jones, age 82, recently was discharged from the hospital with cellulitis of the right lower leg, diabetes, and hypertension. He’d gone to the emergency department (ED) after checking his blood pressure at a supermarket pharmacy; a nurse happened to walk by, saw his dangerously reading, and drove him to the ED.
At discharge, the nurse refers Mr. Jones to a local home health agency for follow-up with a nurse and communicates the physician’s orders for Mr. Jones to the agency. Home care is directed not just to the patient but also to family members—in this case, Mr. Jones’s wife, who will be his caregiver. The home care nurse will teach them both about his medications and care regimen and instruct them to watch for signs and symptoms related to cellulitis, such as fever, warmth, and redness of the leg.