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General health

What do health visitors do?

12 replies

judetheobscure · 26/03/2003 20:52

Some time in the far away future I will return to work. Thinking about changing career and wondering about health visitor. What do they do apart from checking babies/pre-schoolers development? Do they have anything to do with other people? What kind of hours do they work? And pay (presumably a pittance)?

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lou33 · 27/03/2003 00:03

My hv is a wonder! She organised dd1 incontinence pads from the nhs after years of having to buy ones in the supermarket (dd is almost 11 and still wets the bed), she recommended a super nursery for ds1 when all others had failed for him, got dd2 her speech therapy appointment sorted, and has done 1001 things for ds2 who has cp, including recommending another nursery for him when he is old enough to go. She seems to know the answer to most things, and if she doesn't she knows someone who does! She has also made it very clear that she is there to listen to me too if I want to talk, because she knows I don't really know anyone locally (been here 6 months). She returns my phone calls usually by the next day, or if she can't do that she pops a note in my door. In fact she is exactly how I want a hv to be, there when I need her without being patronising, condescending or intimidating.

fallala · 27/03/2003 00:16

hvs dispense dodgy childcare advice

GeorginaA · 27/03/2003 08:43

I think health visitors are responsible for the elderly too.

GeorginaA · 27/03/2003 08:45

Ah found the NHS information site for you:

Health Visiting - What Is It?

Jimjams · 27/03/2003 19:07

jude my hv is wonderful as well. She chases up appointements for ds1 (autistic) and keeps an eye on me as well. I have noticed in previous hv posts that those of us with special needs kids tend to speak quite highly of our hv so maybe that's a big part of their work?

eidsvold · 27/03/2003 20:00

Jimjams - I think it depends on the hv. I also have had dealings with community paed. nurses - some were brilliant - one a male took it upon himself to lecture my dh and I regarding some equipment we were using.

Apparently the syringes we had to use to put dd's feed down her nasal gastric tube and her medication were to be 'recycled'. We could not just have them for single use you know!!! Now no one had told us so of course we did not know.

We have since moved and the community paed nurse here was horrified to learn that they were prepared to put my dd's health at risk ( prior to important cardiac curgery) by making us recycle syringes. When she needed them here - single use. Brilliant.

My hv here is brilliant.

judetheobscure · 27/03/2003 20:10

You hear so many bad things about health visitors - it's nice to see some good stories. Thanks for the link GeorginaA - going there now!

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judetheobscure · 27/03/2003 20:13

Oh - not for me I think - you have to be a qualified nurse before you can train to be a health visitor. Back to the drawing board!

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janh · 27/03/2003 20:21

We had a lovely one (retired now), but I knew other mums who thought her patronising. She used to do her best to connect people who needed connecting, and without being anti b/f used to be supportive when mums who were struggling admitted defeat.

It's a very subjective thing, whether you appreciate yours or not. I think it helps if they are mums themselves though.

What did you do before, jude?

Jimjams · 27/03/2003 21:10

That's horrendous eidsvold- recycled!!!!!

good god! Thank goodness you're somewhere sensible now. Postcode lotteries don't you just love them!

eidsvold · 28/03/2003 07:10

Jim jams - I was angry at first when I called to ask for me as we had run out and my paed nurse was not on call that weekend. The man lectured me like I was a) totally stupid and b) a 4 yr old. I had never had experience like this - my only child ( with a serious heart defect) out of special care two or three days before!!! But when he arrived and my dh answered the door - he did the same to him.

I am not sure if you find it strange the fact that depending on where you live the local health authority processes can vary so much.

Anyway enough off the topic.

judetheobscure · 29/03/2003 00:08

I was a secondary school music teacher and no intention of returning.

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