Next Step B&B

Next Step B&B

Improving surgical results by addressing the two-week period following hospital discharge from
major surgery.

I recently underwent emergency surgery for diverticulitis. I woke with
an ostomy bag, a gash from my belly button to my ribs, and post-surgical pain.

My surgery was successful.

In the hospital, I received excellent instruction on the use of the
ostomy bag.

However, I received zero education in the hospital on how to manage my pain and antibiotics other than being handed a bag of pills with instructions on how far apart to take them. Through my own resourcefulness, I found a nurse at my surgeon’s office to help me with a time table and sheet for marking what medication was taken and what was next.

My education on wound management at the hospital was a travesty. Absolutely nothing, not even an attempt. I was told to “wait for my home health nurse visit,” which was more than 24 hours after my discharge. Again, I was forced to be resourceful and I called my surgeon’s office. The on-call doctor walked me through removing my dressings, repacking my wounds and
dressing everything back up.

My home health care was an embarrassment. After 24 hours, I was already better at dressing my wounds than my nurse. I spent over $200 on my own wound care material before a pathetic box with gauze and a few bandages showed up in the mail several days after my discharge. Maybe three days’ worth of material. Nothing further. I have easily spent $300 more on wound care material. Again, I relied on my neighbor to drive me from pharmacy to pharmacy looking for the right bandage sizes and my own financial resources to pay for them. Not everybody has a great neighbor and easy access to $500.

But for the fact that I actively sought out and received excellent help after discharge, the result of my brilliant surgeons and floor nurses could have been completely ruined by bad after-care.

Next Step B&B is to help former inpatients who have been discharged from a hospital to have the skills and materials to follow discharge instructions.

Next Step B&B takes up to four discharged patients at a time. Minors may have up to two family members stay as well. Each can stay for 1 to 14 nights. Our service is free. We will operate through donations and grants.

We will explore payment from private and public insurance, but the lack of insurance to cover services is not a problem. Free means free.

We have a nurse and a CNA present 24 hours per day to ASSIST and INSTRUCT on all discharge instructions. They will not do the work for the guest. We have a kitchen manager present 16 hours per day on weekdays (8 hours per day on weekends) to ASSIST and INSTRUCT on healthy eating. They will not cook for the guest. We pay to bring in other needed specialist educators such as prosthetic instructors, diabetes educators, ostomy educators, social workers, etc. as different guests may need.

Guests are responsible for their own lives just as at home. They wear their own clothes. They may drive to do their own shopping or order ingredients (at our expense) from the kitchen manager. They may have up to 2 visitors between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, subject to the same rules as guests. They may not enter or exit the property between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM. No smoking, no alcohol, and no inappropriate behavior. All prescriptions must be kept in a lock box found in each room. All guests will sign a waiver of liability and an agreement to follow our rules.

We do not provide medications. Our staff does not pass medications, They do not take vitals. We have a small infirmary for emergencies, but staff instructions are to stabilize the guest as best as possible and call 911, just like at home. We will provide wound care materials and other medical supplies as different guests may need them.

Next Step B&B is only for former patients, properly discharged from a hospital. Guests who do not try to progress with their education will be sent home. Guests who do not follow the rules will be sent home. Guests who cannot learn within 14 days will be sent elsewhere as we are not a long-term guesthouse.

We wish to take the discharged patients of any age with the greatest need and the greatest potential to benefit from our services.

Next Step B&B is a nonprofit corporation.

Please contact founder Samuel Mathis at (207) 650-6852 with questions.

Donate here.