What Is Private Duty Nursing?

October 21, 2022
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Home health services help to deliver care for people with a broad range of needs in the comfort of their home. Because there are so many different families and patients with unique situations, there are also a wide variety of roles and services in this field. Private duty nursing is a service line that delivers a very high level of care to patients.

If you are exploring home health for a family member or loved one, you may have come across private duty nursing and wondered if it is right for you. Private duty nursing is a highly skilled specialty within the area of home health nursing. Learning more about this topic can help you make an informed decision about your family’s care.

What Is a Private Duty Nurse?

The goal of private duty nursing is to deliver high quality, dedicated, and long-term care for a patient in a home setting. You can think of a private duty nurse as helping give the same degree of care a person would receive in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, only inside of their own home. Because of this, private duty nursing usually requires training and certification in carrying out skills and operating equipment in a home setting.

Private duty nurses can be in the home with a patient for part of the day or for round-the-clock shifts. Although they typically provide care in a home, some private duty nurses also work in some long-term care facilities to provide focused care for the most vulnerable patients. Private duty nurses can include both registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who are under the supervision of a nursing manager.

Because of the level of decision-making and care required from private duty nurses, most care providers seek nurses with a deep background of relevant experience for this role.

Who Can Private Duty Nurses Help?

Private duty nursing can help both young and old patients with specialized needs who require continuous care. Although most often associated with older adult patients, private duty nurses also provide pediatric care to children with congenital conditions, rare diseases, or serious disabilities. Private duty nursing can help anyone with a diagnosis that needs substantial ongoing support, but who can still live and function in a home setting.

There are many patient situations and conditions that can benefit from private duty nursing, some of the most common conditions include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Stroke
  • Birth defects and birth-related injury
  • Patients with multiple comorbidities

In general, patients who require continuous assistance with feeding tubes, tracheostomies, ventilators, pain management, mobility, and other advanced needs requiring experience, training, and clinical judgment can benefit from private duty nursing.

What Types of Care Does a Private Duty Nurse Provide?

The exact duties a private duty nurse performs for a patient can vary on a case by case basis. Due to the highly specialized and specific needs of patients, private duty nurses will ideally work with a single family or patient for an extended period of time if possible. In some cases, private duty nurses may also work as part of a larger team that includes nursing assistants, therapists, and of course family caregivers  Common types of care that a private duty nurse delivers to a patient can include:

  • Ventilator care
  • Tracheostomy support and maintenance
  • Advanced nutritional support, including feeding tube management and intravenous nutrition if needed
  • Administering medication
  • Assessing changes in condition and communicating to clinicians
  • Wound care and dressing care
  • Supervising and assisting other caregivers, including nursing assistants and family members
  • Documenting care and administering treatment plans

There can be many other services a private duty nurse may need to carry out depending on the unique needs of the patient and family. This is why resourcefulness, experience, and training are critical for any private duty nurse in addition to the certifications and education they receive.

It can be difficult to determine whether your family can benefit from a private duty nurse compared to other types of home health services. Consulting with a comprehensive and established home health agency that provides a full range of services can help you assess the level of care that is right for your loved one and your entire family.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care in Florida

It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a family member. That’s why our team of skilled professionals at Care Options for Kids is here to help. We have been enforcing precautionary measures and following the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 to ensure the safety and health of our clients and employees.

Our home health care services offer support in the comfort of your home. We refer loving and competent nurses to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the best plan of action to keep your loved ones happy and healthy.

If you or a loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.