pediatric home nurse with young girl

The Case for Private Duty Nursing: Why It Works and How It Helps

Evidence for the Effectiveness of This Healthcare Service for Children and Young Adults

Private duty nursing provides health care at home for children and young adults with specialized needs. You may be familiar with the basics of this critical service:

  • Coverage: Private duty nursing is covered by the Medicaid Child Waiver, a private insurance policy, or out-of-pocket funds.
  • Skilled nursing at home: A private duty nurse delivers care at the child’s or young adult’s home. This team includes a nurse who provides individualized health care, including skilled services related to the patient’s specific needs.
  • Additional skilled health care and support: Other services available include skilled therapies, respite care for family caregivers, and even support beyond the home, like trips for medical appointments, school, the Special Olympics, and social activities.

These services are designed to support your child’s specialized healthcare needs, and research shows just how beneficial this healthcare service is. Anecdotes from families who receive this care also explain how effective and meaningful private duty nursing can be.

Keep reading to gain more insight into the effectiveness of this remarkable healthcare service for children and young adults, and learn how to find a trusted pediatric private duty nursing agency near you.

What the Evidence Says About the Benefits of Private Duty Nursing

Private duty nursing is praised for its ability to provide individualized care in the place that is most familiar and comforting to the patient: wherever they call home. Children and young adults who receive care from a private duty nursing team experience individualized support. This provides relief for families and prevents children and young adults from having to receive care outside the home in a care facility.

These benefits are confirmed in specific research and articles on private duty nursing’s effectiveness:

  1. An improvement in health: A comprehensive study from Home Health Care Now observed, “Private duty nursing was perceived to improve the children’s [and young adults’] health through daily symptom evaluation and management.”
  2. Fewer hospitalizations: Pediatrics, the journal from the American Academy of Pediatrics, conducted a study on how to prevent hospitalizations in children and young adults with special healthcare needs. The results demonstrated that “patients receiving home visits, care coordination, chronic care-management, and continuity across settings had fewer preventable hospitalizations.”
  3. Mental health benefits: Another journal article from the AAP includes a study and additional follow-ups to indicate that the short-term mental health benefits for the cared-for child with a chronic illness are significant. As the participants got further away from their initial interview, the results grew even more impressive, indicating that this form of care has a positive effect on the long-term mental health of the patient.
  4. “I get a chance to just be a mom”: This article from The Arc, which advocates for public policy related to disabilities, includes testimony from mothers who have relied on private duty nursing for their children’s specialized needs. One mother noted, “The home health care nurses change our lives every shift they show up. I get the chance to just be a mom, not a nurse or therapist, and I can be more present for my older son.” Another family explained that private duty nursing provided financial stability because both parents were able to keep their jobs, instead of taking unpaid leave.

A common theme among the many studies on private duty nursing mention that the benefits of this service are far more likely when care quality is high. This means that families must seek out a highly rated care team.

How to Find a Leading Private Duty Nursing Team

You’ve explored the studies that verify private duty nursing’s effectiveness and the compassion, care, and critical support it provides for the entire family. Now it’s time to vet an agency that offers private duty nursing near you.

Use these points as a checklist to see if the team you’re considering meets your expectations and can offer the many benefits of this service:

  1. Experience: Does the team you’ve selected have experience caring for your child’s specific condition? For instance, if your child requires a specific medical device, such as a ventilator G-tube, you want to ensure that the team you’ve selected can meet these needs.
  2. Personal care options: Does the team offer Medicaid personal care for children and youth in addition to private duty nursing, if your child requires help with daily routines and personal tasks, such as toileting?
  3. A whole-family approach: Does the team value the entire family’s wellbeing? Do they offer respite care alongside specialized healthcare for your child?
  4. Compassionate care: Does their service strike you as an example of compassion, comfort, and unmatched care?

These points will help you find a pediatric private duty nursing team to care for your child and serve as a resource and much-needed support that your family deserves.

To learn more about what this form of healthcare can offer, contact a private duty nursing agency near you.

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