If you are someone who is considering a being an LPN, it’s very likely that you may have spent some time thinking about what an LPN does. An LPN is a Licensed Practical Nurse, so just the name should tell you something right away! LPNs typically perform a variety of nursing duties, and assist the other medical staff in a number of ways.
LPNs typically work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), a physician, or potentially another member of the medical team. They might be responsible for supervising others too, such as CNAs and other members of the team. LPNs may perform a variety of patient care tasks, and also administrative care tasks as well.
When it comes to working with patients, LPNs may take a variety of general medical measurements like blood pressure or body temperature. They may also record a range of patient data such as height, weight, and ask a number of questions to patients about their preferences or take down other information from them. In some states (depending upon the local regulations), LPNs may be able to administer medications and work with IVs. In a supervised care setting like a nursing home, an LPN might be found doing things like helping dress patients, changing bed sheets, helping patients eat, and a variety of other things that some patients may need in order to function on a day-to-day basis. LPNs may help patients with wound care, draw blood, and do other things to help coordinate care for patients.
LPNs may also perform a variety of administrative functions such as organizing or processing paperwork, entering information into a patient database and recording patient preferences and entering that information into a computer. LPNs may order various supplies, and may also work help coordinate schedules with other staff, as well as a variety of other things.
What an LPN does exactly may also depend upon where they work. Because LPNs may work in a variety of medical settings from hospitals to nursing homes, they needs of their patients may dictate exactly what they need to do. Patients in a nursing home may require more assistance with day-to-day living tasks than patients who live in a hospital. Patients in a hospital may be there because of injuries or to have surgery, and not because they’re suffering from old age and unable to perform their normal daily livings tasks (although some patients in hospitals may be suffering from old age as well in addition to other problems).
Hopefully now after reading this, you have a better understanding of some of the various things that LPNs may do depending upon where they work, as well as a better idea of a what being an LPN may involve.