- A private duty LPN provides skilled bedside care to patients, and observes the patient and the patient's condition for any changes. He may record vital signs, keep the patient comfortable, administer injections and enemas and keep the patient comfortable. She may bandage and monitor wounds or sores, assist in feeding and monitor catheters, as well as collect blood and urine samples for testing and record food and fluid intake. In some cases, the LPN may give massages or alcohol rubs. A private duty LPN may also assist with personal care such as bathing, dressing, standing and walking, and may work with the patient's family and nursing assistants to provide a continuity of care for the patient, explaining protocols and the care they should provide in the LPN's absence.
- Frequently, a private duty LPN works with elderly or ill patients, but may also work with patients of all ages with a variety of illnesses and medical issues, ranging from premature infants to hospice care for the terminally ill.
- A private duty LPN may work in a patient's home or retirement home, or may be assigned to specific patients in a hospital, nursing facility, rest home or respite facility.
- Although he may work in a home setting rather than in a hospital setting, a private duty LPN must still be licensed as a practical nurse in his state before practicing. Licensure requires completing a state-approved training course and receiving a passing grade on the National Council Licensure Examination, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Some state may have additional requirements for licensure.
- Private duty LPNs may be required to attend continuing education courses and in-service training as part of their job description, as well as part of their requirement for the state board of nursing in their locale.
- A private duty LPN must take detailed, accurate and legible clinical and progress notes of the patient's condition and care. This includes a timely recording of all vital signs, medications administered, food and liquid intake, and any other aspect of the patient that requires close and careful recording, such as medical equipment, medication and supplies.
- Private duty LPNs work under the orders of the patient's medical doctor (MD) and registered nurse (RN), and must conduct duties according to the care plan laid out by those orders.