Discharge Details


As patients celebrate discharge day, staff work to ensure a smooth transition.

The multi-disciplinary team at the Respiratory Care Center work together with one goal in mind: discharging the resident from the facility to live life as independently as possible.

It can be months and sometimes years in the making, but when that happens, there’s nothing sweeter, or in some ways, bittersweet, than the “goodbye ceremony” that takes place as the resident leaves the facility to a new life of independence.

A dozen or so members of the facility team line the hallway holding farewell signs, smiling, fighting back tears. They then say their goodbyes to a person with whom they’ve worked, laughed, cried with, and hoped.


“We’re sad when they get discharged,” said Sara Robinson, RN, “but we’re also happy, you know, it feels like a part of us is leaving when they leave.”

Resident, George Cook is pictured on his discharge day
with many of his caregivers from the Respiratory Care Center.


But the care doesn’t stop when the resident leaves the center.

The Rockcastle team ensures that the patient and family has the equipment, training, and instructions it needs.

Clinical staff from nursing, respiratory care, dietary, therapy, and pharmacy train the patients and their families on multiple aspects of care that they will need as the patient transitions out of the center, including CPR, medication administration, wound care, use of oxygen, and nebulizer treatments. (Some patients are discharged but remain on some level of ventilator support; in those instances, additional training is required).

The list of logistical details to be addressed is long.

Prior to discharge, social services staff have already arranged for home medical equipment and identified the family’s choice of pharmacy. If a patient needs to discharge to a lower level of care, staff will attempt to find a facility close to the family that can provide the level of care needed for the patient, including arranging transfer of the patient. The Rockcastle team also ensures the patient is scheduled for all follow-up appointments and provides dates, location, and time of appointments.

In addition, social services staff arrange home health care and connects patients to outpatient therapy and other services as needed. When families are unable to transport patients themselves, staff will facilitate their access to available transportation.

And the list of details to attend to goes on. The discharge planning process is comprehensive, meticulous, and tailored to each patient – because continued recovery and progress depend on it.