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Frequently Asked Questions

Breast Cancer Support

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

As part of VNA and Legal Aid of Nebraska’s ongoing partnership, we have created a set of video resources to assist breast cancer patients in navigating legal issues that may arise with their diagnosis. Part one is disability and SSI/SSDI. Click HERE to watch the video. The video will cover the following common questions people have about SSI/SSDI when undergoing treatment:

  • What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?
  • How is disability determined?
  • What are reasons individuals with cancer are denied disability?
  • Can I work and still apply for/get social security disability?

What is a power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney?

As part of VNA and Legal Aid of Nebraska’s ongoing partnership, we have created a set of video resources to assist breast cancer patients in navigating legal issues that may arise with their diagnosis. Part two is about power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney. Click HERE to watch the video. The video will cover the following common questions people have about their Power of Attorney when undergoing treatment:

  • What is the difference between a Healthcare power of attorney (HPOA) and a Durable power of attorney (DPOA)?
  • What is the difference between a healthcare power of attorney (HPOA) and a living will?
  • Why should someone have both a Healthcare power of attorney (HPOA) and a durable power of attorney (DPOA)?
  • Does signing a HPOA take away my right to make my own medical decisions?

What are my employee benefits and employee rights when undergoing treatment?

As part of VNA and Legal Aid of Nebraska’s ongoing partnership, we have created a set of video resources to assist breast cancer patients in navigating legal issues that may arise with their diagnosis. Part three is about Employment – the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Click HERE to watch the video. The video will cover the following common questions people have about their employment status when undergoing treatment:

  • What is FMLA and who qualifies for it?
  • Can my employer make me use vacation and sick time at the same time I am on FMLA?
  • What happens if I cannot return to work after my 12 weeks have expired?
  • How does the American with Disabilities Act apply if I am still limited but want to return to work?

What non-medical services are available for breast cancer patients?

VNA provides support such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and other services to Douglas and Sarpy county residents going through breast cancer.

How do I know what help is available to me as a breast cancer patient?

The VNA Breast Cancer Assistance Program is dedicated to providing services that enable you to prioritize your needs, and determine which services or financial support will make the most difference in meeting those needs. We will work closely with you to find out what will make the most impact on your life.

Community Care

What regular services does the school nurse provide?

VNA customizes the services provided based on the needs identified and the resources the school has available. These can include:

  • Identifying students with special needs and work with parents to develop action plans
  • Health evaluations
  • Guidance and care for children who are ill
  • Height, weight, vision, hearing and oral screenings
  • Immunization record reviews and reporting
  • Communicable disease control and prevention
  • Wellness education
  • Referrals for primary care, community resources and education programs
  • Staff training in areas like infection control, medication administration, CPR and first aid, and the mandated emergency asthma and anaphylaxis protocol

What do VNA nurses do in schools each day?

No two days are the same, but usually the nurse will check in with school administrators to get updates on changes on any individual students receiving special care. The nurse focuses on providing services the school has identified as a priority. And of course, the daily focus can change quickly if an emergency situation arises.

What specific services to VNA nurses provide to homeless families?

VNA nurses provide these services, among others:

  • Health assessments and screenings
  • Early detection of illnesses and prompt treatment
  • Preventative healthcare and teaching
  • Education on positive coping skills
  • First aid and injury care
  • Chronic disease monitoring and education
  • Nutritional assessments and education
  • Prenatal, childbirth and breastfeeding education and support
  • Post-partum and infant assessments
  • Positive parenting education
  • Referrals to primary care and community resources to meet individual needs

What do VNA nurses actually do in the homeless shelters each day?

About half of Omaha’s homeless population is seen by VNA nurses, which is no simple task. At the beginning of each day, the nurses typically check in with shelter or program staff for updates and current priorities. They begin to see new clients and existing clients as they request services. When time permits they seek out clients to follow up and provide support. The nurses facilitate appointments and advocate for the clients with other community service providers frequently throughout the day.

How early can someone enroll in the Nurse Family Partnership?

As soon as an expectant mom finds out she’s pregnant, it’s a good idea to give us a call if you think you could use our services! Call (712) 328-2636 for more information.

What is a typical Love & Learn visit like?

During a typical visit the parent coach will assist the parent to identify and set individual goals, the coach will provide education on life skill development, healthy relationships, parenting topics and refer to community resources, when needed. The nurse will complete maternal-child assessments including weight and developmental assessments of the infant/child, provide education on health, safety, nutrition, and a variety of parenting strategies, and collaborate with other providers working with the family.

What are the results of Project WIN?

Outcomes of this program include the reduction and prevention of child abuse, an increase in family involvement and support, an increase of babies born at healthy birth weights, and an increase in the number of fully-immunized infants.

Where is Project WIN offered?

Project WIN is a free home visitation program offered by VNA for families in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties.

What are the screening requirements for Healthy Families America?

Families whose income is at or less than 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible for services. We welcome non- or limited-English speaking families! Other screening requirements may apply – please contact Deanna Schlautman, HFA Program Coordinator, at dschlautman@thevnacares.org or (402) 930-4083.

What non-medical services are available for breast cancer patients?

VNA provides support such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and other services to Douglas and Sarpy county residents going through breast cancer.

How do I know what help is available to me as a breast cancer patient?

The VNA Breast Cancer Assistance Program is dedicated to providing services that enable you to prioritize your needs, and determine which services or financial support will make the most difference in meeting those needs. We will work closely with you to find out what will make the most impact on your life.

Home Health

Who is eligible to receive these home health technology services?

Anyone who receives care through VNA is eligible to receive these services. It depends on the client’s individual health situation.

What sort of conditions require IV therapy?

Examples of conditions that often require IV therapy may include but are not limited to:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Chronic or terminal pain
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Neurological disease
  • Pre- or post-transplantation

What is a typical visit like?

Because everyone’s situation is different, there is no typical visit. Our caregivers spend as much time as they need with every client to make sure they are getting the care needed to get healthy again.

What can I expect from VNA Home Health staff?

You can expect personalized care delivered with kindness. We work with you and your doctor to put together a treatment plan based on your specific situation. This one-on-one care means you will get the attention you need to heal and recover.

Hospice & Palliative Care

Who is eligible to receive these home health technology services?

Anyone who receives care through VNA is eligible to receive these services. It depends on the client’s individual health situation.

What sort of conditions require IV therapy?

Examples of conditions that often require IV therapy may include but are not limited to:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Chronic or terminal pain
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Neurological disease
  • Pre- or post-transplantation

What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?

Palliative Care can be provided from the point of diagnosis of a life-threatening, chronic or terminal illness – not just in the last six months of a person’s life – and may be provided in a home setting, outpatient clinic or in a care facility setting.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is a philosophy and practice of care designed to provide specialized comfort and support for individuals with a life-threatening illness. The related word “palliate” means “to relieve symptoms of pain and suffering.”

When should someone research or seek hospice care?

Earlier is better. By understanding the benefits of hospice earlier on, you have more time to research and understand your options and choices – and your loved one and family can greatly benefit from the emotional and physical support our hospice professionals can provide. VNA’s Hospice and Palliative Care services include support and programs to those who are in need during and after the loss of a loved one.

What makes hospice different from palliative care?

Our certified hospice nurses focus on improving quality of life during the last months, and palliative care can be received from the point of diagnosis. Nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide your family with the highest quality of care. Short-term respite is also available on an intermittent basis to allow families time to take care of their own personal needs.

What hospice and palliative care services are offered by VNA?

VNA Hospice and Palliative Care services include:

  • Physician Directed Plan of Care
  • Certified Hospice Registered Nurses
  • Medications for Pain and Symptom Management
  • Medical Equipment
  • Respite Care
  • Hospice General Inpatient Care
  • Medical Social Workers
  • Home Health Aides
  • Patient/Family Focused Care
  • Registered Dietitians
  • Spiritual Counseling
  • Rehabilitation Therapists (OT, PT, ST)
  • Bereavement Services
  • Volunteer Services – Adult and Teen

What is Hospice?

Hospice Care works to make the person comfortable and relieve symptoms and pain for the entire length of their illness when medical care cannot offer a cure. Hospice provides care, comfort and support for persons with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Parenting Support

What are the outcomes of this program?

This program often keeps families from using Emergency Room visits or other medical services unnecessarily, by educating them on what is normal and when to call a doctor. The ongoing support they receive means families in our community have the best possible start in life.

What is a typical visit like?

You can expect personalized care from an expert nurse, delivered with kindness. We work with you and your doctor to design a treatment plan based on your specific situation. This one-on-one attention means your child will have the medical care he or she needs.

How early can someone enroll in the Nurse Family Partnership?

As soon as an expectant mom finds out she’s pregnant, it’s a good idea to give us a call if you think you could use our services! Call (712) 328-2636 for more information.

What is a typical Love & Learn visit like?

During a typical visit the parent coach will assist the parent to identify and set individual goals, the coach will provide education on life skill development, healthy relationships, parenting topics and refer to community resources, when needed. The nurse will complete maternal-child assessments including weight and developmental assessments of the infant/child, provide education on health, safety, nutrition, and a variety of parenting strategies, and collaborate with other providers working with the family.

What are the results of Project WIN?

Outcomes of this program include the reduction and prevention of child abuse, an increase in family involvement and support, an increase of babies born at healthy birth weights, and an increase in the number of fully-immunized infants.

Where is Project WIN offered?

Project WIN is a free home visitation program offered by VNA for families in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties.

What are the screening requirements for Healthy Families America?

Families whose income is at or less than 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible for services. We welcome non- or limited-English speaking families! Other screening requirements may apply – please contact Deanna Schlautman, HFA Program Coordinator, at dschlautman@thevnacares.org or (402) 930-4083.

School Nursing

What regular services does the school nurse provide?

VNA customizes the services provided based on the needs identified and the resources the school has available. These can include:

  • Identifying students with special needs and work with parents to develop action plans
  • Health evaluations
  • Guidance and care for children who are ill
  • Height, weight, vision, hearing and oral screenings
  • Immunization record reviews and reporting
  • Communicable disease control and prevention
  • Wellness education
  • Referrals for primary care, community resources and education programs
  • Staff training in areas like infection control, medication administration, CPR and first aid, and the mandated emergency asthma and anaphylaxis protocol

What do VNA nurses do in schools each day?

No two days are the same, but usually the nurse will check in with school administrators to get updates on changes on any individual students receiving special care. The nurse focuses on providing services the school has identified as a priority. And of course, the daily focus can change quickly if an emergency situation arises.

Shelter Nursing

What specific services to VNA nurses provide to homeless families?

VNA nurses provide these services, among others:

  • Health assessments and screenings
  • Early detection of illnesses and prompt treatment
  • Preventative healthcare and teaching
  • Education on positive coping skills
  • First aid and injury care
  • Chronic disease monitoring and education
  • Nutritional assessments and education
  • Prenatal, childbirth and breastfeeding education and support
  • Post-partum and infant assessments
  • Positive parenting education
  • Referrals to primary care and community resources to meet individual needs

What do VNA nurses actually do in the homeless shelters each day?

About half of Omaha’s homeless population is seen by VNA nurses, which is no simple task. At the beginning of each day, the nurses typically check in with shelter or program staff for updates and current priorities. They begin to see new clients and existing clients as they request services. When time permits they seek out clients to follow up and provide support. The nurses facilitate appointments and advocate for the clients with other community service providers frequently throughout the day.

VNA Help at Home

Who is eligible to receive these home health technology services?

Anyone who receives care through VNA is eligible to receive these services. It depends on the client’s individual health situation.

Can I trust VNA Help at Home?

Absolutely. As a member of the VNA team, all caregivers are fully insured and bonded, thoroughly screened, and well-trained to provide you with the highest quality service available.

What is a typical visit like from a VNA Help at Home companion?

No two visits are alike, but we work with you to determine your exact needs, schedule and overall goals. For example, visits can be a short check in to help manage small household tasks or longer to play board games to provide more companionship.

How is VNA Help at Home different from VNA’s other in-home care programs?

Instead of being visited by a nurse or other healthcare professional, VNA Help at Home companions help with tasks at home that don’t necessarily require extensive medical knowledge. Yet getting light housework done, running errands and providing companionship undoubtedly contributes to the overall health of clients who want to remain independent at home.

What will my caregiver do for my loved ones? What are my responsibilities?

You will be matched with a caregiver who has the experience and understanding to support your family’s needs. From light housekeeping and meal preparation to bathing and help with medications, our skilled caregivers provide support to seniors and individuals of all ages.