LPN Job Duties
Overview of an LPN
Being an LPN means a lot of responsibility. You are on the front line of patient care, and as such, you are expected to spend a great deal of time with the sick and disabled. Bedside care and the ability to follow instruction are probably the most important skills to have in this job. The demands vary by state and even more so by job (depending on whether you're working in a hospital, office clinic, or elsewhere), but the basic duties remain the same no matter where you are.
Basic Responsibilities of an LPN
Taking and recording vital signs are a big part of the job. These include measuring blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and in some cases, breathing rate and oxygen saturation (when indicated). LPNs must also be skilled in medication administration; namely the giving of pills and ensuring they are consumed, performing injections, and the like. Wound care is also part of what may be expected of an LPN, and this entails dressings and bandages, cleaning, and general hygiene assistance. Depending on the setting, one may also be involved in scheduling, billing, medical record keeping, and dealing with insurance companies. Really, there are no end to the job responsibilities which can be good and bad. You'll always be very much in demand, and it's unlikely you'll ever have enough time to be bored.
The importance of an LPN
Because the rest of the health care team is so busy, the LPN is often the one who spends the most time of anyone with a patient. This allows one to have a unique perspective on the efficacy of the treatment but also affords a tremendous opportunity to form a crucial bridge between physician and the person being cared for. As a nurse, one will learn vital information about your patient in the form of histories, exams, and other means. By passing this information along and sharing with the rest of the health care team, the LPN can truly make a tremendous difference in the life of the patient.