If you are thinking about beginning a career as an LPN or LVN then you are joining one of the fastest growing fields today. First, it’s important that you realize that there is no real difference between an LPN, Licensed Practical Nurse, and an LVN, Licensed Vocational Nurse. However, while most states in the union use the term LPN, two states, California and Texas, use the term LVN. This position features a long list of duties that are both difficult and rewarding. Knowing that you are helping people is one of the best perks of the job. Also, it features great job security as nurses are always in need and that need is always growing.
Because LPN and LVN mean the same thing, you don’t need to be confused about whether or not they require different education levels or feature different duties. LPNs and LVNs care for the sick, injured, or otherwise disabled. They are under the supervision of either a doctor or an RN- Registered Nurse. Their most common duties usually involve bedside care. They may measure and record vital signs, gives injections or enemas, monitor catheters, dress wounds, and even give alcohol rubs and massages. Their duties may also include making patients comfortable, bathing patients, dressing patients, assisting with hygiene, or feeding patients who are can not do so on their own.
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LPNs and LVNs may take test samples, perform routine lab tests, and record fluid and food intake records. They are also responsible for the cleaning of any equipment. They may also be trained to assist doctors and RNs in the many procedures they perform such as tests and procedures. There is a large amount of information that LPNs must gather and record from patients such as negative reactions to treatments and medications. They must record the patients’ health history and how they are feeling at the time. They will then use this information to fill out forms and referrals along with any other needed paperwork. They also share this information with doctors and nurses so they can come up with the best methods of treating the patient.
LPNs will often work in many different forms of health care as the duties they perform are quite general. They may work with the doctors and nurses to figure out the needs of the residents in the area where they operate and devise methods of meeting those needs. They may have to take appointments, keep records, and perform similar office responsibilities. LPNs may also work for home health care facilities. In this position they may be required to prepare meals and help instruct family members on how to properly perform simple nursing tasks. In certain states in the country, LPNs may be allowed to give prescribed medications to patients, inject intravenous fluids, and provide other care to needy patients. If you think you would enjoy helping people and performing these kinds of duties on a regular basis for 40 or more hours a week, then being an LPN/LVN may be the perfect career for you.