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Can someone explain to me...


What the difference is between Private Duty nursing and Home Health? I am really unclear on this. Thanks!


Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

A private duty nurse is hired directly by a family or individual needing frequent or daily nursing care in their home. A home health nurse usually works for an agency and provides nursing care in their clients' homes. A private duty nurse (I think) has only one client at a time, whereas home health nurses have many patients at any given time. I'm no expert, so I may be incorrect with some finer points here, but that's my impression of both jobs.


Specializes in LTC, med-surg..

Private duty is one-on-one care done in shifts at one home, home health is broken up into visits, lasting 30 minutes to an hour with the nurse visiting several homes in a day.

highlandlass1592, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 13 years experience.

And you can be a private duty nurse through an agency as well as hired directly by the family.

was a time when private duty nurses also worked in hsp...paid by the pts family to give one on one care. Hsp had regestries.

mamamerlee, LPN

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

I've been both. There was a time when a family could hire and pay for an individual nurse, LPN or RN, to take care of their family member one-to-one. Sometimes it was thru an in-hospital registry, sometimes an agency. The last time I did this was 15 years ago! And sometimes I had to tell the family that mom or dad did not really need that level of care. I learned that some fortunate people just wanted 'company' for their family, and were willing to pay for it.

Private duty is certainly done in the home as well; usually thru an agency, and most often for high-tech care, such as patients on vents. This is sometimes referred to as in-home shift work. Done that, too, and it can be very taxing.

Traditional home-health is frequently called 'visiting nurse'. A short visit, 30-60 min usually, is done at the pt's home. Dressing changes, new diabetic teaching, post-open-heart surgery care, weekly blood draws. These are done when pre-approved by insurance, medicare, medicaid. This is my favorite type of nursing!

Thanks for the replies! This is clear now...