A Step by Step Guide to Making Home Visits Safer

GooZam Grow
3 min readAug 17, 2021

Whether you are at work or at home, understanding how to take care of yourself and what risks you are exposed to are important steps on the path to safety. During home visits, healthcare providers face unique risks. They are frequently exposed to a variety of potentially fatal or life-threatening hazards. To avoid these hazards and protect yourself, how do you cultivate a safety culture that incorporates a preventative approach to managing risk?

This guide will walk you through the various steps essential to perform safe home visit procedures, where healthcare providers are able to do so in a risk-free atmosphere.

Preparation is as important as planning, maybe even more so. Preparation gets you ready to actually do the work. You could say that planning is the original step, and preparation is the sequel. The truth is, you can plan all you want, but if you don’t prepare, you still won’t be ready. So let’s start first with preparing!

  1. Before the visit

Here’s what you need to do prior the visit:

  • Review the family’s case file
  • Call ahead
  • Have the correct address, phone number and driving directions along with the appointment time
  • Let your supervisor or co-workers know where you are and when you will be back
  • Do not wear excessive jewelry
  • Dress appropriately
  • Take your ID badge
  • Carry your cell phone

2. Before you leave

For vehicle safety, make sure to:

  • Keep the car in good working condition
  • Gas up
  • Have a spare tire, first-aid kit, flashlight, and emergency phone numbers available
  • Check weather conditions before leaving for your visit

And while on the way:

  • Leave your purse in the trunk
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Lock car doors and roll up windows
  • Circle around the block to look for signs of danger
  • Have your keys in your hand

3. Upon arriving the home

  • Avoid people who appear to be loitering, drinking alcohol or arguing
  • Pay attention to signs
  • Be cautious of pets
  • Choose an open and well-lit area to park
  • Back in the park
  • Park in the direction you want to go and beware of dead end streets

4. When approaching the client’s home

  • Make sure to maintain a self-confident, self-assured posture and attitude
  • Keep to the middle of the sidewalk
  • Look for another entrance
  • If you are verbally confronted, stay professional
  • Knock on the door, identify yourself and use the family’s name
  • Don’t enter a home unless there is an adult present
  • Don’t enter homes when you suspect an unsafe situation exists

5. During the home visit

  • Be alert to signs of violence or any sexual advances
  • Be courteous and professional
  • Ask permission to hold or handle a child
  • Do not assume an animal won’t bite

6. When entering a home

  • Stay behind the resident
  • Place yourself where you can easily see the front door or somewhere that you can easily observe someone else entering the room
  • Be aware of other people going in and out of the house
  • If guns or knives are visible, leave and conduct the visit at another place or time
  • Always ask permission

7. Upon leaving the home

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Check inside and around your car
  • Watch for cars following when you leave

As fewer patients are admitted to hospitals and hospital stays become ever briefer, the medical complexity of home care will increase, as will the demand for home visits. Join thousands of people in exploring methods of delivering healthcare in the home.

Explore GooZam Grow, an e-Learning Platform, helping create a safe space for both patients and healthcare providers. Subscribe to us now!

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