Responsibilities of an LVN

A licensed vocational nurse (LVN) requires a person with dedication to assist other people. The LVN has a number of responsibilities including everything from helping to keep the patient clean, to monitoring critical signs, to writing detailed reports. A nurse usually works in a hospital although more nurses are working in homes, nursing homes, doctor's offices, or other places needing their services.

The basic responsibility of the LVN nursing is to make certain client's needs are met. When the LVN cannot meet these needs then s/he is expected to immediately contact the doctor or other professional who can meet with the patient. Of the many important duties the nurse performs is the taking of vital signs. This includes temperature, pulse rate, and blood pressure. The results must then be interpreted. If they are out of the ordinary for the patient then a report must be made to the doctor. The nurse is the middle person between the patient and the doctor; therefore, it is imperative that the nurse constantly monitor the patient so that s/he can transfer accurate and sufficient information to the doctor.

The nurse is also responsible for making certain the patient receives necessary medications. The medications include oral meds as well as injections and topical medications (lotions, creams, and so forth). Other medications, such as suppositories are also administered by the LVN.

When a nurse accepts a position s/he must be aware that the job requires a person who can be a 'jack of all trades." Aside from the previously mentioned responsibilities the LVN also is expected to properly bandage wounds, change the dressings and provide some therapies (such as walking the patient). If the doctor requires blood for testing or an ultrasound then this also becomes the responsibility of the nurse.

One of the jobs that can be very stressful, and sometimes difficult, is the communication with the family. The nurse is generally the first person a family member will contact because the LVN is generally the easiest person to contact. The nurse is expected to discuss matters with the care of the patient. There are times when the nurse must also give the difficult news that a family member has passed away.

The nurse also maintains charting and recording of information for each patient. The records must meet the needs of the doctor as well as meet the standards of the state health codes. The LVN needs to record all medication, vital signs, and any information that will assist the doctor to make any important decisions.

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