The Role of Care Coordinators for Children with Respiratory Technologies and Home Nursing

Sarah A. Sobotka*, Emma Lynch, Rishi Agrawal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Children with respiratory technologies, particularly those with mechanical ventilation, represent a growing population that require complex home nursing, medical equipment, outpatient medical and habilitative supports to live and thrive in their community. Care coordination is essential to support these children and their families to navigate and integrate key community-based health and educational services, however, care is often fragmented and care coordination needs unmet. Therefore, to fully support children with respiratory technologies, it is critical to understand the role of care coordinators (CCs) and how to sustain this workforce. The aim of this article is to describe CCs' perspective on (1) their role in supporting families in a home care program for children with respiratory technologies and home nursing, and (2) the core components of recruiting into and sustaining the CC workforce. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 CC from the Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) Home Care program for children with technology dependence and home nursing in Illinois. Two independent coders utilized a modified template approach and discussed to agreement to analyze transcripts. Results: CC averaged 6.6 years of CC experience; the majority had social work or nursing backgrounds. CCs' job satisfaction was derived from their role supporting hospital discharge, seeing children improve over time, and navigating challenges with families. CCs enjoyed working in a collaborative environment where they could draw from their colleagues' experience to solve problems. Job dissatisfaction and job turnover stemmed from difficult family interactions, high caseloads, and redundant and time-intensive administrative tasks, which interfered with family engagement. Conclusions: CCs for children with respiratory technologies require diverse skills, but interdisciplinary teams enable collaborative support of families. Seeing children thrive can sustain the workforce, however, CCs report challenges due to high caseloads and administrative tasks, which impede direct family involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric, Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • care coordination
  • children with medical complexity
  • home nursing
  • mechanical ventilation
  • respiratory technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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