Healthcare Career Articles
Some Responsibilities of a LPN
A licensed practical nurse or LPN works under the direct supervision and direction of physicians and other registered nurses providing wellness and health care services to people of all walks of life, whether they're sick, injured, convalescent or disabled.
Those individuals that successfully finish a LPN program or a LVN program in Texas and California provide the basic bedside care required by patients. Nurses work under the supervision of a registered nurse, a physician or other health care provider. Those that completed an LPN program work as part of health care teams that take a patient's vital signs like temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration. LPNs record a patient's progress, and note down the patient's food and beverage intake and output. Those that finish an LPN program are expected to also help hospitalized, bedridden and other patients with their personal hygiene by assisting them with bathing and dressing, as well as caring of the comfort and emotional well-being of their patients.
The graduates of a LPN program can be scrub nurses also. These nurses directly assist surgeons in the operation room. Amongst their responsibilities, the setting up of sterile instruments and supplies and handing them to the operating surgeon or surgical assistant are the most important. LPN program graduates also prepare and give injections and enemas, treat bedsores, apply dressings, give alcohol rubs and massages, apply ice packs and hot water bottles, and insert catheters. LPNs keep the patients under constant observation so that the nurses can then report any adverse reactions to treatments or medications that may appear. Other responsibilities that will fall in the field of LPN program graduates will be to collect samples from patients for testing and to perform some routine laboratory tests. Some states allow LPNs to administer prescribed medications and to start intravenous fluids. Licensed practical nurses can also help deliver babies and care for and feed infants.
Those individuals that will graduate a LPN program and will become experienced LPNs, will be able to supervise other health care professionals like nursing assistants and aides. They will also provide a variety of clerical or administrative services. These last services are very important when they work in doctors' offices and clinics; nurses often have to assist the administrative staff by making appointments, keeping records and answering phones. By enrolling in a LPN program you may also take part in education patient about health care issues, preventive health maintenance and at-home treatment.
Licensed practical nurses will often assume broad responsibilities if they work in nursing homes. Beside the general bedside service, they might assist the health care team with the evaluation of residents' needs, by initiating care plans and overseeing the activities of nurse aides.
When you're thinking about enrolling in a LPN program in order to become a nurse you must be aware of the fact that a nursing job can be emotionally stressful since nurses will often work with critically or chronically ill patients. Nurses must exhibit emotional stability and must be able to take direction from other types of nurses, doctors and other supervisory staff. As a LPN you'll usually enjoy a flexible work schedule, especially in hospital settings, where you can work nights and weekends.
Licensed practical nurses earn a median of about $28,000 per year. The lowest earnings are reported for the LPNs that work in doctors' offices and clinics, and the highest median annual earning was in personnel supply services.