BWWMH adds staff for adult geriatric psych home health

A certified psychiatric nurse is the latest addition to Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital’s Home Health Agency as a continuation of the hospital’s adult geriatric psychiatric unit, allowing patients to continue receiving the psychiatric care they need once they return home.

“We can provide most anything they can provide in the hospital,” said Diane Lewis, RN and Nurse Manager.

The psychiatric nurse will provide services such as suicide watch, medication management and mental health monitoring. She will also provide support for the patient and the family and will teach the patient and caregiver how to manage the patient’s overall health.

Once patients are referred to the Home Health Agency, the nurse will assess the patient and their needs.

“It’s going to be different with every patient, just like every home health patient,” Lewis said.

She also said the nurse will be able to provide care for a wide range of mental illnesses including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The addition of a certified psychiatric nurse helps meet a growing need of providing support to patients with mental illnesses, especially when it means the patient can stay in a familiar and comforting environment rather than move to a nursing home.

“They’re able to go back and function in their own home,” Lewis said.

For Lewis, the addition of a certified psychiatric nurse has been long-sought, and she hopes to add more over time.

“We’re very excited to have the program. It’s a good program, and it’s something we’ve been looking at for a long time, and it’s finally a reality.”

Patients must have a referral from their physician in order to schedule an appointment. The Home Health Agency can also contact the patient’s doctor in order to assist the patient in getting one. For more information call 334-289-0701.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, September 26 issue of the Demopolis Times.)