Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

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Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) specialize in administering care for disabled, injured, and chronically ill patients in various healthcare clinics.

LPNs and LVNs offer hands-on patient care under the direction of doctors and registered nurses. LPNs receive a year of training at a community college, vocational school, or hospital. Once they’re finished, they are permitted to become licensed as an LVN or LPN and become employed at a hospital. These specialists have limited responsibilities, and they required to work under the strict supervision of doctors and registered nurses.

LPNs typically administer simple bedside care, which includes taking vital signs, treating bedsores, preparing patients for shots and other procedures, applying dressings, administering ice packs, and monitoring catheters.

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LPNs closely monitor patients and report any problems to doctors or registered nurses. They also collect blood and other tissue samples to be tested, conduct basic laboratory tests, feed hospitalized patients, and make records of fluid out and intake. Additionally, they assist patients with dressing and bathing, counsel them when they’re distraught, and ensure they’re comfortable at all times. In some states, LPNs are permitted to administer intravenous fluids and prescribe some medications.

Working Conditions
LPNs typically work 40 hour weeks at assisted living facilities and hospitals, but since some patients require 24 hour care, they are often assigned to work evenings, early morning, weekend, and holiday shifts. LPNs stand for hours at a time and frequently assist patients unable to walk, stand, or re-position themselves in bed.

Academic Requirements
LPNs nationwide are required to complete a nursing training program recognized by their respective state and pass a licensing test. To be admitted to a LPN training program applicants are usually required to hold a high school degree or GED, but certain programs will waive this requirement.

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