Licensed Practical Nurse/LPN
A licensed practical nurse is a general practice nurse, who handles basic caretaking duties. Under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses, LPNs care for patients who are sick, injured, recuperating or disabled. LPNs provide general bedside care, including measuring and recording patients’ vital signs such as height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration. LPNs are also in charge of preparing and giving injections, enemas, catheters, treating bedsores and applying medical dressings. They spend a great deal of time working alongside the patient, helping them with daily needs, such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, maneuvering in bed, as well as standing, walking and eating. LPNs have to be observant caretakers, since they are responsible for monitoring patients’ movements, reactions to medication and treatments and the overall state of their health. LPNs also collect samples for testing, perform routine laboratory tests and record daily fluid and food intake and output. Depending on the state and job setting, some LPNs are allowed to administer prescribed medicines, give IVs, perform blood transfusions and provide care to ventilator-dependent patients. LPNs tend to patients on a more personal level than most health care professionals do. Because LPNs spend the majority of their time working with patients, they get to know their personalities and emotional states as they receive medical treatment. They address patients’ emotional needs on a daily basis by simply conversing with them. LPNs often talk to patients about health education and discuss their conditions, as well as calm their nerves about treatments and medical procedures. Many times, patients just need someone to listen to them and vent about whatever is on their mind. LPNs can serve as confidants to patients, which is useful in determining deeper issues that affect a patient’s state of health and overall mindset. Licensed practical nurses are trained to work in a variety of health care facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, home healthcare and other medical settings. LPNs’ duties vary depending on their place of work. For instance, LPNs who work in nursing care settings typically work with elderly residents by developing care plans, monitoring their health and overseeing nursing aides’ patient care. Whereas in home health care settings, LPNs will do routine health checks, prepare meals and teach families or caretakers how to do certain tasks and administer care when nurses or physicians are not there. Requirements LPNs Often, they provide basic bedside care. Many LPNs measure and record patients' vital signs such as weight, height, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. They also prepare and give injections and enemas, monitor catheters, dress wounds, and give alcohol rubs and massages. To help keep patients comfortable, they assist with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene, moving in bed, standing, and walking. They might also feed patients who need help eating. Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides, and other LPNs. As part of their work, LPNs collect samples for testing, perform routine laboratory tests, and record food and fluid intake and output. They clean and monitor medical equipment. Sometimes, they help physicians and registered nurses perform tests and procedures. Some LPNs help to deliver, care for, and feed infants. LPNs also monitor their patients and report adverse reactions to medications or treatments. LPNs gather information from patients, including their health history and how they are currently feeling. They may use this information to complete insurance forms, pre-authorizations, and referrals, and they share information with registered nurses and doctors to help determine the best course of care for a patient. LPNs often teach family members how to care for a relative or teach patients about good health habits
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