Thursday, October 24, 2013

Licensed Practical Nurse Job Description

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a certified position generally requiring up to two years of specialized training. An LPN is also known as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) in Canada. A nurse at this level generally takes orders directly from a Registered Nurse or doctor. She also works with other medical staff and other departments within the hospital. An LPN may also work in locations other than hospitals such as clinics, in-home, nursing homes or retirement facilities. Qualified LPNs are in demand with opportunities projected to grow an additional 14 percent during the next 10 years.

Direct Contact

An LPN works directly with patients. This close working relationship allows the LPN to help the patient deal with a medical condition. He will help the patient with bathing, dressing and other personal hygiene. He may also be in charge of feeding as well as monitoring the input and output of the patient. Because he spends so much time with an assigned patient, he may be the first to notice or hear directly from the patient any change in condition.

Advanced Duties

Depending on a state's restrictions and requirements, an LPN may administer some medication, take blood and other samples for testing, take vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation and heart rate), monitor catheters, and dress and suture wounds.

Paper Work

In some situations, an LPN may be required to perform administrative duties, such as helping patients complete health care and insurance forms. She may also be asked to perform other clerical duties.

Work Hours

Although, a description of duties for an LPN may pertain to an eight hour day, because of a shortage of qualified medical help he may actually work 10 or 12 hour days if needed. This may include night shifts, weekends with a schedule that changes each day. The day is filled with many patients and many duties to take care of, which can cause a burn-out situation if the LPN is not careful with work/life balance.

Duties Not Included in the LPN License

In most states, an LPN is not allowed to bestow orders upon other medical staff. Administering intravenous medication is out of his realm of responsibilities. However, he can establish intravenous feeds and administer saline solutions, plasma or nutrients. The LPN may also not give official orders to other nurses or medical personnel.

Tags: Practical Nurse, directly from, help patient, Licensed Practical, Licensed Practical Nurse, medical staff