Private duty nursing

If you have an elderly loved one, you are surely aware that they may require constant in-home care to maintain their quality of life. One of the best ways to help them restore their independence and live active and safe lives is to hire a private duty nurse from Trusted Touch Healthcare.  But what is a private duty nurse?

A private duty nurse provides one-on-one care to a single patient living with physical or mental impairments that prevent them from personal care. Normally, this is a CNA or RN, and they are either self-employed or work for a home health care agency.

Let’s take a closer look at the responsibilities of private duty nursing.  And what you and your elderly loved ones can expect from hiring a private nurse.

What are the responsibilities of a private duty nurse?

Private duty nurses help patients with activities of daily living and other healthcare needs.  They have a broad range of responsibilities, depending on their experience, employment type, and care plan.

Typically, they offer a variety of services, from monitoring the medical conditions of the elderly and administering medical treatment to providing companionship. It is crucial to know what to expect from these practical nurses before hiring them to care for your elderly loved one.

The most common responsibilities of private duty nurses include:

  • Dressing wounds.
  • Turning or repositioning patients.
  • Obtaining vital signs, taking blood pressure readings, keeping a record of any alterations or sudden changes.
  • Answering patient calls.
  • Feeding, measuring, and recording the patient’s food and liquid intake to prevent dehydration.
  • Bathing patients, combing hair, shaving, brushing teeth.
  • Stocking supplies.
  • Documentation of obtained information.
  • Assessing the physical and emotional needs of patients.
  • Creating a care plan for the patient in collaboration with the patient’s physician or other healthcare providers.
  • Administering prescribed medications and medical treatments and making sure the patient responds well to them.
  • Providing in-home medical care to assigned patients.
  • Offering companionship and helping the patients maintain their mental well-being.
  • Offering pain and symptom management.
  • Organizing doctor’s appointments and transportation services.
  • Providing help with physiotherapy and motion exercises.
  • Wound care: taking care of the bandages, contraptions, and dressing as instructed.
  • Informing family members about the client’s treatment, medical condition, and any health changes that occur.
  • Managing communication among the patients, their doctors, caregivers, and their family.
  • Cleaning for patients and offering homemaking services.
  • Providing various other daily living activities.

As you can see, private duty nurses offer a variety of services.  Their goal is to provide medically necessary nursing care to patients in their homes.  They also care for patients transitioning to a Nursing care plan. They assess, provide, and monitor professional care for patients by the hour.

Private duty nursing

The responsibilities that these nurses have can differ depending on their education. For example, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide basic healthcare.  They work directly with patients as they carry out daily activities and help with other healthcare needs. CNAs alleviate the workload of others and allow for better overall patient care.

On the other hand, registered nurses (RNs) manage patients’ medications, assessments, scheduled procedures, and daily activities.

What qualifications does a private duty nurse have?

Private duty care nurses have a wide range of responsibilities that involve maintaining the patients’ health, quality of life, and assistance.  It is crucial that they are adequately trained and educated.

CNAs – To become a certified nursing assistant, a candidate must earn a high school degree or equivalent, complete a state-approved nursing assistant training, and pass the state’s CNA certification exam.

RNs – To become a registered nurse, a candidate must earn a two-year or four-year degree from an accredited university and pass the National Council Licensure Examination to earn their nursing license. 

Besides the required formal education, any person who wants to become a private duty nurse needs to have strong communication skills, organizational skills, excellent problem-solving ability, and to be highly sensitive and observant to the patients’ needs.

What are the benefits of hiring a private duty nurse?

Hiring a respite care professional has numerous benefits.  One of the key benefits is that no matter if your loved one is dealing with chronic health issues or rehabilitating after surgery, he or she will be able to receive the necessary care while staying home instead of moving into a facility.

Also, hiring a nurse ensures your loved one receives much-needed personal attention and companionship. Elderly people often feel lonely and having someone to talk to in times of loneliness is crucial for their mental well-being. Working with a private duty nurse will ensure your elderly family member has someone to interact with.

Finally, you can rest assured your loved one is well cared for. Private duty nurses have the necessary skills, training, and experience to meet the patient’s recovery needs. They know how to properly care for patients, watch out for any potential complications, and address them before they escalate.

What types of patients do private duty nurses have?

Private duty nursing care professionals work with various patients in need of constant or temporary private duty care and support. From geriatric, oncology, and terminally ill patients to those struggling with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, these professionals provide institutional level of care and support for individual patients with physical or mental impairments.

Most private duty nurses work with elderly patients who are not capable of looking after themselves and need part-time or continuous hospice care. In addition to health monitoring, treatment, and assistance, private duty nurses can also do light housework for the patients, transport them to doctor’s appointments, and help with feeding and grooming.

When a patient’s condition is more complex, private duty nurses have more responsibilities. Bed-ridden patients and those with greater limitations need a wide variety of skilled nursing care services, including the maintenance of healthcare equipment, tube feedings, tracheostomy care, ventilator care, and similar specialized care.

In these situations, and since patients with chronic illnesses and more complex conditions need more care, only highly trained and experienced health care nurses are assigned to them.

Trusted Touch Healthcare provides private duty nursing services throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. with locations in Fairfax and Rockville.   Please contact our offices today for more information on taking care of your loved one.

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