in the USSR, a service provided by preventive-medical institutions. Its chief purposes are to inculcate the principles of personal hygiene, to implement hygienic and prophylactic measures in the home, and to improve sanitary conditions in the home. Home nursing is especially widespread in the field of health care for mothers and children, where it is carried out by physicians, district visiting nurses from pediatric polyclinics and rural medical units, and feldshers and midwives from women’s consultation clinics.
Pregnant women and children. A midwife visits the pregnant woman at home during the first half of pregnancy to ascertain her living conditions and to discuss prenatal care and such aspects of personal hygiene as preparation of the nipples for breast feeding and the use of a prepartum bandage. The midwife also explains the government’s laws and resolutions concerning the protection of rights and health of the woman during and after pregnancy. Additional home nursing is provided when prescribed by an obstetrician-gynecologist after examination; if any abnormality of pregnancy is revealed, the patient receives necessary treatment. During the first three days after the mother is discharged from the maternity hospital, a pediatric nurse and a physician visit the infant at home.
Mentally ill. In home nursing of the mentally ill, chronically ill patients who are not violent live with families, under the constant supervision of personnel from a medical institution. Such care may take place in the home of the patient’s own family or in the homes of other families, who receive home-care reimbursement. Home care of the mentally ill is organized by psychiatric hospitals and psychoneurological dispensaries. Visiting nurses make regular calls to inspect the patients’ care and the adherence to the orders of the physician, who observes each patient at least once every three months. A special board selects patients for home nursing and for discharge from this care. Home nursing of the mentally ill is an important factor in their rehabilitation.