What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), otherwise known as Licensed Vocation Nurses (LVNs), are different from Registered Nurses (RNs) in that they only need to finish a year or two of coursework right after high school. Their duties and tasks may sometimes be similar to a registered nurse but is often under close supervision of a higher medical authority whenever they do their regular practical nursing work.
Although they have lesser training in general medical and patient care, an LPN career is possible in this chosen kind of nursing job. Their assistance in patients' full recovery from an illness or sickness is still considered important and greatly contributes to the ease of a patient's suffering and medical discomfort.
An LPN work normally includes checking patients' blood pressures, taking vital signs such as monitoring patients' respiration and checking patients' pulse, administering injections and enemas, monitoring patients' catheters, applying dressings, treating bedsores of patients, giving alcohol rubs and massages to ease patient discomfort, and reporting patients' allergic or bad reactions to treatments or medicines. If a patient is too weak or unable to bath himself, an LPN takes this responsibility as well as ensures the patients' overall comfort and other needs like personal hygiene.
In special cases and depending on the state where they are working and under close supervision and authority provided by his immediate superior, a Licensed Practical Nurse can also administer medicines to patients. The same case applies when there is a need to care for and feed infants and even assist in the delivery of babies.
A Licensed Practical Nurse is also expected to do basic office work such as record-keeping, updating and filing, and scheduling doctors' appointments. These scenarios can be normally found in private or public hospitals. While in nursing homes, they are sometimes expected to give out basic nursing skills and to prepare food for home patients.
Other tasks that a Licensed Practical Nurse include performing tests, collecting samples, feeding patients who may feel too weak or disabled, and keeping a regular record of patients' actions and activities for the duration of their treatment. With enough experience behind them, an LPN can even supervise other nurses, especially the neophytes.
Getting an Licensed Practical Nurse Job
To become an LPN, one must be able to complete one to two years of practical nursing course. The second step is to pass the National Council Licensure Examination - Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN), the counterpart to Registered Nurses' National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN).
While the one to two years of schooling is basic in acquiring the knowledge for this kind of healthcare job, one is likewise expected to do well during practical skills training where they are tested for their ability to perform their regular functions as LPNs.
LPN Employment Outlook
Because of the continuing rise of the elderly population, particularly in the United States, the demand for home care services are steadily rising. Add to this fact is the advancement of medical technology and facilities which home care services can readily use with the assistance of LPNs. This is where the job growth or LPN career growth is expected to shoot up when the elderly or patients with functional disabilities would prefer to be treated at home.
Nursing homes and doctors' clinics have also taken advantage of the medical technology that will allow them to do even complex treatments at their own clinics or homes. The LVNs or LPNs' presence or assistance will be in demand in these areas rather than in big private or public hospitals in the near future.
The average salary of an LPN six years ago was estimated at $34,000. Most of them earned between $29,000 to $40,000. Employment services gave the highest at $41,550.00 the same year while the lowest were at physicians' clinics or offices at $30,400.00
In recent years, the salary rates have increased given the growing demand for LPN jobs, particularly in home care services. If you are looking to having career in this healthcare segment, you can find thousands of listings at NursingCrossing.com to click and browse through. Check out this site with a FREE guaranteed one-day trial and find your LPN job or LPN career.