Are you interested in a career that’s constantly changing and on the cutting edge of healthcare? If so, then you may be interested in a career as an LPN, which stands for Licensed Practical Nurse. This profession, also referred to as a Licensed Vocational Nurse, are at the front line when it comes to caring for patients in a wide variety of medical settings. Although the specific job duties of an LPN vary based upon your state and employer, there are several basic job duties that are universal across this profession.
Basic LPN Job Duties and Responsibilities
As mentioned earlier, the scope of practice allowable by law is vastly determined by the statutes set forth by your state. Because this is a licensed profession, there are strict rules regarding what an LPN can and cannot do. Although job duties can vary, the following are considered universal within this career field. For a more detailed overview of lawful job duties, visit this page and check with your state board of nursing for the latest in the LPN industry.
Medications: As an LPN, you’ll be charged with the duty of administering oral and IV (intravenous) medications to patients.
Record Keeping: Unlike other nurses, such as a CNA, an LPN is charged with the duty of archiving patient health and statistics by updating his or her medical record.
Vital Signs: You’ll be responsible for regularly checking patient vital signs before, during and after treatments.
Clean/Change Wound Care: As an LPN, you’ll be responsible for changing wound dressings, or bandages, regularly to ensure swift and healthy patient healing.
Collect Specimens: When ordered by a physician or registered nurse, an LPN is charged with the task of collecting urine, blood and other specimens for lab tests.
Respiratory Care: For patients who are on a ventilator or tracheostomy tube, LPNs are responsible for tending to and caring for these patients.
Nasogastric Tubes: Should a patient be unable to eat, an LPN is typically responsible for inserting and caring for patients with nasogastric tubing. This also involves feeding patients through these specially designed feeding tubes.
Monitor Patient: After reviewing a patient care plan, an LPN is responsible for continually monitoring and checking the progress of patients in a clinical setting.
Contact Medical Professionals: During checkups on a patient, it is the responsibility of an LPN to contact a registered nurse or a physician should the patient demonstrate negative responses to treatments or to their illness. Because the swift response of an LPN can mean the difference between health and a prolonged hospital stay, this is among the most important job duty of an LPN.
Further Reading: http://cno.org/