In contemporary society, there has been a huge demand of nurses in different corners of the world. A career as a nurse not only gives a person job security but also job satisfaction. There are several nursing careers to choose from. One of the fast-paced nursing programs is becoming a licensed practical nurse.
What is a licensed practical nurse?
Licensed Practical Nurses or LPNs are also known in some states as Licensed Vocational Nurses or LVNs and Registered Practical Nurses or RPNs. Nurses at this particular level are generally under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or physician. They collaborate with other health care staff in other departments within the health care institution.
Duties of a licensed practical nurse
- LPNs work directly with their patients. The close working relationship that is developed allows LPNs to help patients in dealing with their current medical condition. They help patient with activities of daily living like daily bathing, feeding, dressing and some other personal hygiene. They are also responsible in monitoring the patient’s intake and output. Because LPNs spend most of their time with the patient, they are the first to notice any significant changes in the patient’s condition.
- LPNs may also administer medications to their patient. However, this may vary from state to state. They are also responsible in drawing blood samples and other specimen for diagnostic testing. Their foremost duty is to monitor vital signs such as pulse rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate. They also monitor catheters of their patient and provide suturing and wound dressing.
- In some areas, LPNs are tasked to perform paper works and any administrative duties like guiding patients in filling up their insurance forms and health care insurances.
Condition of Work
The LPN’s job environment is similar with registered nurses or nursing assistants. Universal precautions should be implemented and applied to prevent disease spread. LPNs or licensed practical nurses may be exposed in a wide variety of illnesses making prevention and immunizations very crucial. This profession requires good physical ability in assisting patients by lifting, assistance with walking and sitting and work effectively with different medical equipments.
In order to become a LPN, a completion of LPN training is essential from an accredited vocational school and nursing colleges. This course usually lasts for a year with subjects in anatomy and physiology, patient care and laboratory procedures.
Occupation and Work
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a career as a LPN is expected to increase by 14% until 2016. LPN’s duties are very comprehensive and crucial in any health care facility. With this, LPNs can find quick employment in a huge variety of settings.