If your loved one receives care from Gilchrist, our Nurse Helpline provides support for caregivers — even in the middle of the night and weekends.
When you call the Nurse Helpline, a trusting voice on the end of the line will guide you through a problem, answer your questions and find a nurse team member to visit if needed. The nurse triage team makes sure that when families and caregivers have an urgent question, concern or emergency, they can reach a compassionate, knowledgeable nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Gilchrist’s triage nurses are trained in hospice and have a kind, calm, comforting and caring demeanor that comes across on the phone. When families call, the triage nurse will resolve the concern either by offering advice or reassurance, or making sure they receive a prompt visit by a hospice team member.
Families and caregivers call the Nurse Helpline for any number of reasons. They may call because their loved one is showing a new symptom, and they are unsure of what to do. A caregiver may be wondering whether a particular symptom is normal and expected or something more concerning. Or a family may call requesting medical equipment or supplies. Sometimes caregivers call with a question about a medication, such as what to do if a dose was missed or whether it may be causing a certain side effect. It’s common for families to call asking about end-of-life signs, and they may call right after their loved one dies.
The triage team has access to the patient’s electronic medical record, and can review the patient’s chart and doctors’ orders to help answer the caller’s questions. They can also provide advice about alternative ways to make the patient more comfortable that do not involve medication. If it is not a concern that can be addressed over the phone, the triage nurse will alert an on-call hospice nurse to visit.
Triage nurses are an added safety net in addition to the in-person care that the patient and family already receives in the home from their hospice team. Having a caring expert available at all hours provides an added source of comfort for worried caregivers.
To reach Gilchrist’s Nurse Helpline for questions or concerns related to your care, call 443.849.8200.
To learn more about Gilchrist and the services we provide, visit gilchristcares.org.