METCA – Elderly Compassionate Care

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LPN Job Description

Licensed practical nurses (LPN’s) fill an important role in modern healthcare practices. Their primary job duty is to provide routine care, observe patients’ health, assist doctors and registered nurses, and communicate instructions to patients regarding medication, home-based care, and preventative lifestyle changes.

Nursing Home LPNs

LPN’s who work in nursing homes can expect to have responsibilities that include:

  • Admitting new residents
  • Assisting physicians during rounds of residents’ rooms
  • Assigning and delegating duties to non-licensed nursing staff
  • Monitoring resident care and supervising other nursing staff
  • Performing ongoing assessments of residents’ physical and mental health
  • Explaining procedures and treatment protocols to residents

Hospital and Private Clinic LPNs

LPN’s who work in hospitals and private clinics are typically required to perform the following job duties:

  • Planning and managing patient care according to each patient’s needs
  • Interviewing patients and recording their medical history
  • Obtaining patient vital signs and escorting patients to their rooms
  • Administering injections of medications
  • Verifying that patient charts are updated promptly and accurately
  • Observing and recording patients’ conditions and reactions to medications and treatments

Home Health LPNs

LPN’s who work in private residences and homes may have different job duties than other LPN’s. Their unique responsibilities include:

  • Helping patients bathe, get dressed, go to the bathroom, and eat
  • Monitoring patients’ overall health during every visit
  • Changing bandages, wound dressings, and catheters
  • Setting up exercise programs for patients
  • Verifying patients are taking the correct dosages of medications
  • Remaining on-call for patients who have healthcare emergencies

Summary of What LPN's Do

What the LPN does depends on the “scope of practice” laws in the state where you work.  Each state board of nursing regulates what the LPN can and cannot do.  In general, LPN’s provide patient care in a variety of settings within a variety of clinical specializations.  LPN’s usually:

  • Administer oral and intravenous medications
  • Chart in the medical record
  • Take the patient’s vital signs
  • Change wound dressings
  • Collect specimens such as blood, urine, sputum, etc.
  • Insert and care for urinary catheters
  • Care for patients with tracheostomy tube and ventilators
  • Insert and care for patients that need nasogastric tubes
  • Give feedings through a nasogastric or gastrostomy tube
  • Care for ostomies
  • Monitor patients for a change in clinical condition
  • Call the physician if needed
  • Perform CPR in emergencies
  • Are supervised by an RN

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