If your child needs a pediatric private duty nurse in order to live at home, you probably have a wish list of qualities or skills that person would possess. Hiring a pediatric private duty nurse is somewhat like hiring a babysitter. As a parent, you want to know that the babysitter will focus her attention on your child, not texting her friends or playing games on her I-phone. You want the babysitter to be dependable and reliable, to arrive on time for scheduled assignments. You want the babysitter to have experience in age appropriate skills such as changing diapers and giving a baby a bottle.

If you hire pediatric private duty nurses licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, you can be confident that the nurses have the education and skills required to do the job. The State of Illinois requires that all nurses have valid nursing licenses. They must have hands-on CPR training. Online CPR courses are not accepted. In order to renew her nursing license in Illinois, a nurse must have completed twenty hours of in-services since the last renewal two years ago. Each nurse must pass a criminal background check and a Nurse Aide Registry check at time of hire.

An established agency such as American Home Health employs hundreds of nurses. Many have special areas of expertise such as ventilators, tracheotomy, and g-tube. After an initial client assessment is completed, the nurses are scheduled for eight-hour shifts with clients within twenty miles of their homes. A nurse has the right to refuse any job offer. Likewise, the client has the right to refuse to accept a particular nurse. The goal is to achieve a good match between nurses and clients.

If a nurse is unable to work her regular shift, the schedulers in the office will make every effort to find another nurse to cover the shift. Sometimes it is impossible to find a replacement. Occasionally, nurses may be unable to get to a client’s home due to flooded streets, icy roads, and other acts of nature. In those cases, the family will need to care for the child.

Each American Home Health nurse has a supervisor who provides support to the nurse and family. This supervisor helps to resolve any problems that may arise. She also evaluates the performance of the nurses under her supervision. We urge you to work with the supervisors to help us provide excellent nursing care to our clients.

—By Karen Centowski

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