Many people want to live at home as long as possible, but may not be able to take care of themselves due to age, disability or injury. Private duty home care workers contract with individuals to provide care for the patient in their home or medical facility. Some home care agencies also offer one-on-one private duty services for patients. There are several private duty home care positions that provide key services for patients in home care.
Many registered nurses work in a hospital setting, but they are also needed in the home care field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses comprise the largest health care occupation in America. Registered nurses provide skilled medical care for private duty clients in their homes, as well as provide direct patient care, including help with bathing, dressing and wound care. Some registered nurses use advanced technology equipment, such as ventilators, respirators and intravenous therapy for private duty care. Registered nurses also monitor for changes in the patient’s medical condition and report the changes to other medical professionals involved in the patient’s care.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, provide patient care in many different settings. LPNs are employed by home care agencies to provide nursing services for private duty clients in a home, hospital or medical facility setting. These patients typically need more nursing care and attention than the facility can provide due to staffing shortages and the extensive needs of some patients. LPNs are often IV certified and can administer intravenous therapy in most states. LPNs also provide private duty nursing care for patients with tracheotomies, gastric tubes and other artificial means of life support. In addition, LPNs assist private duty clients with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing.
Home Health Aide
Home health aides, also called home care aides, help patients with everyday tasks, such as light housework, meal preparation and transportation to appointments. Home health aides also help with personal care, including bathing, dressing and grooming. Home care aides are not allowed to administer medications. However, they are allowed to remind the patient when to take his medicine. Home health aides often work as private duty aides for one specific client and obtain employment through advertisements in newspapers and referrals from previous job assignments. Some home health aides work for private duty agencies and are paid through the agency itself instead of through the patient.
Non-medical caregivers improve a patient’s quality of life and comfort level rather than provide medical care for the patient. They prepare meals and do light housekeeping around the client’s residence. Non-medical caregivers are also called home companions or sitters, because they are often hired to simply sit with a private duty patient and provide companionship. Home companions drive patients to the doctor’s office and help with errands, such as going to the bank or grocery shopping. Non-medical caregivers are often paid on a per-hour basis through the client and her family.
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