What is a LPN?
Nursing courses are all the rage these days. With a high demand for professionals, it is not surprising that many students study to become licensed practical nurses or LPNs. However, prospective students should really understand what the job is all about before deciding to enroll in a course. What is a LPN and what do they do day-to-day? What are the challenges of being a LPN? So, let’s learn what a LPN is today!
What is a LPN?
So, the first thing you’re probably wondering is: what is a LPN? A licensed practical nurse, also known as a licensed vocational nurse or a LVN in California and Texas, is a medical professional who carries out patient treatment plans under the supervision of registered nurses (RN) and physicians.
Though a LPN does not have the same education and expertise as a RN, most LPN courses qualify graduates to continue their education to become RNs. Most LPN programs can be completed within a year, although there are programs out there that can take up to two. Naturally, longer programs provide more extensive training and credits earned in accredited programs can be used toward continuing education to become a RN or a higher, more specialized position. But for the most part, LPNs perform similar tasks to RNs, although they can’t do everything a RN can. However, the reverse is true: RNs can perform any function a LPN can.
As for what is a LPN doing day-to-day, the role of a LPN is to provide basic medical and nursing care to patients. Duties can range from checking blood pressure, inserting catheters, ensuring the comfort of patients, bathing and dressing patients, talking to patients and family about health, to recording patient’s health for RNs and doctors to see. Everything you’d imagine a nurse doing, that’s what a LPN does: connecting with patients and helping them to live better and healthier lives.
A LPN’s services are usually high in demand in hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities, although they can also be employed elsewhere. And as the size of patient population in America (especially the elderly) is expected to surge over the next ten years, job opportunities in the nursing industry are also expected to rise.
What are the challenges of being a LPN?
After learning what is a LPN, most students are curious to know the challenges that come with the job. Like any other medical course, diligence is important when studying to become a LPN. After all, human life is at stake when taking care of patients. There is no room for carelessness especially when it comes to treatment and medication instructions.
A LPN must also be familiar in the basics of biology and pharmacology. Having good bedside manners is also important. The patient must be kept as comfortable as can be, not just physically but emotionally as well.
To ensure that a LPN graduate has the appropriate skills needed for the job, there is a licensure exam that a graduate must pass before being able to work as a LPN. A student must pass the National Council Licensure Examination – Practical Nurse or NCLEX-PN in order to ensure employers that he or she has the knowledge and skills to be hired.
Aside from the intellectual aspect, LPNs also need physical strength. Though it may not always be the case, there are times when a LPN may need to assist a patient who has difficulty moving or walking. A LPN may also need to help a patient bathe or dress. Having a strong physique will surely prove to be useful for the job.
LPNs play a big part in carrying out the treatment program of a patient. Because of this, it is imperative that the LPN is skilled in monitoring vital signs and observing patients’ developments. A LPN should work well together with nurses and physicians to nurse patients back to health, oftentimes from illness or injury. And there you have it, hopefully this article has answered your question about what is a LPN.