As the world moves towards personalized care, private duty nursing is also slowly becoming an essential part of the healthcare landscape. Understanding the role and responsibilities of private duty nurses is important, especially if you’re planning in employing one for your family members.
Read on to explore the intricacies of private duty nursing, including its definition, who benefits from such services, the roles these nurses play and much more.
Definition of a private duty nurse
Private duty nursing refers to individualized nursing care provided to patients in their own homes or other personal settings outside of a traditional hospital or clinical setting. Unlike standard home care, which might involve a few hours of care per day, private duty nursing offers comprehensive, one-on-one care, sometimes around the clock. This care is typically provided by registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who have specialized in this field.
Who needs a private duty nurse?
The need for private duty nursing can arise for various reasons. Your loved one may need close monitoring and specialized care, particularly if they have or are going through the following:
- Chronic illness
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Heart disease
- Post-operative care
- Complex medical needs, like:
- Feeding tubes
- Pediatric medical complexities
What does a private duty nurse do?
The responsibilities of a private duty nurse span various tasks, which includes but aren’t limited to:
- Administering medications and injections
- Monitoring vital signs and medical equipment
- Assisting with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing and toileting
- Providing wound care
- Offering emotional support and companionship
- Collaborating with physicians to adjust care plans
- Educating patients and their families on the condition and its management
What are specific types of private duty nurses?
While the term “private duty nursing” generally applies to RNs and LPNs, there are specializations within the domain:
- Pediatric private duty nurse: Specializes in caring for children with specific medical needs
- Geriatric private duty nurse: Focuses on the elderly population and their unique healthcare challenges
- Post-operative nurse: Caters to post-surgery care and recovery
- Chronic illness nurse: Manages and monitors chronic illnesses
How do you become a private duty nurse?
The journey to becoming a private duty nurse involves:
- Obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed RN or LPN.
- Gain experience in a clinical setting, preferably in a relevant specialization.
- Be certified. Some states or employers may require additional certifications in specific care areas, like pediatrics or geriatrics.
- Continuous learning: Stay updated with the latest in healthcare and nursing through workshops and courses.
How to know if a person qualifies?
Determining if a person qualifies for private duty nursing generally depends on:
- The individual’s medical needs and doctor’s recommendations
- Coverage criteria of insurance providers or Medicare
- Availability of private duty nurses in the vicinity
What are the salary and career outlooks for private duty nurses?
The demand for private duty nursing has seen a surge in recent years, driven by the aging population and the preference for at-home care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses, including private duty nurses, is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
The salary for private duty nurses can vary based on factors like location, experience, specialization and hours of work. On average, RNs earn a median annual wage that’s competitive, with private duty nurses potentially earning more due to the specialized nature of their services, especially in cases of round-the-clock care.
Private duty nursing is quickly becoming a high demand service within the healthcare industry since it offers personalized care that can make a significant difference in a patient’s life.
Whether you’re considering this profession or seeking its services, understanding what private duty nursing entails is essential for informed decisions.
For more information on joining RT Medical’s team of private nurses or if you’re looking for a comprehensive range of personalized care services, check out RT Medical’s offers today.