LPN Job Description

What is an LPN?  A brief LPN job description is provided here to better help you understand what an LPN does . LPNs are also known in Texas and California as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). 

LPNs/LVNs are health professionals who provide hands-on care to patients who are sick, injured or disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses.

LPN duties and supervision are governed by by state regulations. They are always under the  guidance and direction of a registered nurse or physician.  In some states other experienced LPNs may oversee and direct other LPNs.

LPN nurses provide basic bedside care, measure and record patients vital signs, prepare and give injections and enemas, monitor catheters, dress wounds, and give alcohol rubs and massages.

LPN job duties may also include assisting with bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, moving in bed, standing, and walking. They might also feed patients who need help eating. An experienced LPN may supervise nursing assistants and aides.

LPNs collect samples for testing, perform routine laboratory tests, and record food and fluid intake and output. They clean and monitor medical equipment. Sometimes, practical nurse job duties include helping  physicians and registered nurses perform tests and procedures. Some LPNs help to deliver, care for, and feed infants.

An LPN job description may also include monitoring their patients and reporting 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.

Most LPNs are generalists and will work in any area of healthcare. However, some work in a specialized setting, such as a nursing home, a doctor's office, or in home healthcare. LPNs in nursing care facilities help to evaluate residents' needs, develop care plans, and supervise the care provided by nursing aides. In doctors' offices and clinics, they may be responsible for making appointments, keeping records, and performing other clerical duties.  LPNs who work in home healthcare may prepare meals and teach family members simple nursing tasks.

LPNs may face hazards from caustic chemicals, radiation, and infectious diseases. They are subject to back injuries when moving patients. They often must deal with the stress of heavy workloads. In addition, the patients they care for may be confused, agitated, or uncooperative.

Summarized from:
(1)  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 20164-17 Edition, Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses,http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm
(2)  Wikipedia contributors, "Licensed practical nurse," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Wikipedia contributors, "Licensed practical nurse," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Licensed_practical_nurse&oldid=522953521
(3)  O*Net Online,Summary Report for: 29-2061.00 - Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2061.00
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