The role of private nurses in home based care

If you or someone you care for requires regular or ongoing medical treatments, it definitely makes sense to consider home based care. Private nursing can be an important part of a patients treatment plans. This article outlines the benefits of receiving medical care from the comfort of your home, and how to find the right private duty nursing care provider.


What is private duty nursing?

Private duty nursing care is a general term used to refer to nurses who attend to and provide care to a patient at home. Private duty nursing has been provided in Australia to home bound people for many years, however, we are increasingly understanding the benefits of private duty nursing for patients, carers and the wider community.

Private duty nursing can also be called private nursing, home nursing or home nursing. Private duty nurses are fully trained nurses who are mobile in the community and call on patients at home.

What types of private duty nurses are there?

In Australia, nurses are classified under the Nurses Award 2020. Some of the different types of nurses that can visit patients’ homes include:

  • Enrolled nurses (EN’s) who must remain under the supervision of a registered nurse when treating a patients

  • Registered nurses (RN’s)who have the required education, such as a bachelor’s degree and all relevant competencies and are most commonly delivering home nursing care services in Australian communities

  • Clinical nurses who may be more experienced than RNs and who deliver direct and comprehensive care to home bound patients

  • Clinical nurse consultants who have experience with advanced nursing practice and specialist or clinical skills in certain health conditions

Some private duty nurses are self employed, while many work for private companies or local, state or federal governments.

Why you should consider home based nursing

Even when they are unwell or injured, most people would much prefer to be at home than spend time in a hospital or care facility. In fact, an analysis of a number of scientific studies into home nursing found significant advantages in receiving medical support and treatment at home. The studies have shown that receiving nursing care at home can:

  • make a positive difference to health

  • offer clinical benefits

  • reduce mortality rates

  • reduce time in hospital or nursing homes

  • save money

Overall, home nursing can lead to improved health outcomes, increased independence, and a better quality of life for individuals receiving care.

Many Australians wish to live independently at home for longer and avoid moving to a nursing home or care facility. The demand for home care packages through My Aged Care and support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rising. New approaches for community based health care have been developed during and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The role of private nurses in our healthcare system

Private nurses can help patients to remain safe, healthy and comfortable at home. In this way, private nurses play a crucial role in our health care system. Healthcare services are not overwhelmed with patients who need beds in the hospital. Beds can be freed up for patients with greater needs or medical emergencies.

Private duty nurses work to build bonds with patients and ensure they are comfortable at home. Having this level of medical services ensures a high standard of patient care and puts family members at ease. Private nurses treat people with many and varied medical conditions and disabilities, including:

  • Eye and ear conditions

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Stroke

  • Asthma

  • Cognitive conditions

  • Alzheimer’s and dementia

Eligibility for home nursing care

In Australia, home nursing services are available to individuals who require medical care but prefer to receive it in the comfort of their own homes. Eligibility for free or subsidised home nursing services is typically based on a person’s medical condition and ability to perform daily activities.

People with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and those recovering from surgery or an injury can all receive private duty nursing support.

If you employ private duty nurses, you do not need to meet any other eligibility criteria. You do not need to be on a pension or have a disability. You can enter a private arrangement with the nursing services provider.

Supports provided by registered nurses

Home private duty nurses provide a wide range of medical and non-medical supports to individuals at a patient’s home. They provide a vital role in helping people recover from illness or injury. Some of the supports that home private duty nurses provide include:

  • wound care

  • monitoring vital signs

  • administering medications or injections

  • managing, sterilising and preparing medical equipment and home health aides

  • personal hygiene management

  • providing education on self-care and disease management

Beyond this, home nurses help patients to be independent, safe, healthy and comfortable at home. They can help patients save money by avoiding the need for transportation to receive medical care. They work to ensure patients maintain dignity and good health. Home private duty nurses will also be able to report back to the doctor if they notice any symptoms they feel worried or concerned about.

What nursing services are available at home?

Additionally, home nurses may assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. They also provide emotional support, companionship, and encouragement to help their clients remain independent and improve their overall quality of life.

The specific supports provided by private duty nurses may vary based on your needs and the requirements of your care plan.

Making private duty nursing arrangements

If you have had a stay in hospital or a care facility, you may be able to be discharged early if you have a care plan in place. As long as a home nurse can visit you to provide treatments and support, you may be able to go home. In some cases, the hospital or your doctors will book and organise a nurse for you before you are discharged. In other cases, you may be referred by other healthcare providers.

You are also able to self-refer or have a family member contact a private nurse without a referral from local medical services.

Steps in arranging private nursing care

If you would like to arrange nursing care from a private nurse at home, here are the three steps you will need to follow:

  1. Speak with your doctor, surgeon or medical specialist – the professionals who have been treating you will know if home nursing could work for you and will be able to give you advice or a referral for private nursing care and a recommended private duty nurse.

  2. Contact a home nursing provider – you may have been referred to a particular private duty nurse, or, you may have been given a list of suitable providers. You can also find suitable private duty nurses by searching the internet, or asking friends or family members for suggestions.

  3. Meet with your chosen home nursing provider – before you start receiving treatments, it is best to meet with your private duty nurse to discuss your requirements and advise your nurse of any relevant medical conditions. Your private duty nurse will make a plan for care that will include details on the specific supports that will be provided, the frequency of visits, and any other relevant information.

Finding the best private duty nurses

There are a lot of private nursing services out there, and it can take some time to find the right private duty nurse for you. In our experience, it can help to meet with a potential private duty nurse before you begin. During this initial meeting, you will get a sense of the nurse’s personality and background.

You may wish to ask them some questions about their areas of specialty, training or professional accreditations. You should feel confident and comfortable talking to your private duty nurse about any medical or health matter on your mind.

Read more on this topic in our recent blog called Choosing the right private nurse.

Nursed Care for treatments at home

Nursed Care is a community-based service located in metropolitan Sydney. Just as our name demonstrates, providing caring private duty nurses is what we are all about. We have a wonderful team of nursing staff and carers who are fully qualified to support our many patients in a home based or community setting.

Our nurses come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but they all have one thing in common- a desire to care for patients who are unwell and need some care at home. We have nurses working all around New South Wales, visiting patients who require home care. At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today!

Our trained staff nurses are ready to visit you and provide one on one care. We provide nurses to patients of all ages, who have a very wide range of nursing care, personal care, wound care and medication management. Get ready to get started with your personalised private duty nursing care at home.

Benefits of home nursing for patients

Home nursing has been shown to achieve a number of positive patient outcomes. First and foremost, home nursing allows you to receive medical care in the comfort of your own home, which can help to improve your overall quality of life. Most patients feel more comfortable receiving treatment in familiar surrounds.

Home nursing care can also help to prevent hospital readmissions, reduce the risk of infections, and decrease the need for emergency room visits. It can help keep patients out of a residential nursing home or other assisted living facilities.

Home nursing can also help to you to manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes or dementia, by ensuring that medications are taken properly and that your well being is closely monitored. Home nursing can also help improve your mental health and well being by providing emotional support and reducing feelings of isolation. Care is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Benefits of home nursing for carers

Home nursing also provides a number of benefits to carers who are responsible for caring for a loved one at home. Most importantly, home nursing can help to alleviate the physical and emotional burden of caregiving.

By having a professional home nurse provide medical and personal care to their loved one, carers can fulfil other responsibilities, such as if they have full time jobs. Having private duty nurses visit also means that carers have more time and energy to focus on their own needs and well being and they do not need to transport the patient to and from hospital appointments or the doctor’s office.

Home private duty nurses can also support families and carers by providing training or advice on how to best care for their loved one. A private duty nurse can answer questions related to a patient’s health conditions, home care requirements and medical needs. This enables carers to feel more confident in their provision of care.

Related Questions

In some cases, private duty nurses can be funded through the NDIS. However, the NDIS will not fund supports for medical needs, even if the conditions relate to your disability. The reason for this is that the NDIS will not treat health conditions because we have an existing medical system here in Australia. The medical systems provide health services for patients with chronic illnesses and health conditions.

So, under the NDIS a patient may be eligible for some funding for disability-related health supports. An example could be if you require some support or training around how to manage your health. You might be able to receive funding for a support worker to train your friends or family in how to help care for you. Funding may be provided for home care services to keep your home hygienic and safe.

Some health-related consumables can also be funded through the NDIS, such as tools for medication management, catheter bags, or continence pads.

Because the services provided by home private duty nurses vary so greatly, and because each patient will have different treatment plans and requirements, it is difficult to state a price for private care or home nursing. What you can expect to be charged as a patient of a home care nurse will vary.

An enrolled nurse may charge less than a registered nurse, but may be limited in the support they can provide. Families can expect to pay anything between $100- $200 per hour for private duty nursing services.

Need qualified care?

At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

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