Licensed practical nurses provide much of the same care to patients as other medical professionals, except they work under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. They provide care for people who are sick, disabled, or injured. A majority of the work provided by licensed practical nurses is known as bedside care, or care given to patients who are confined to a hospital bed.
Some of the daily tasks of licensed practical nurses include taking patients' vital signs, administering medication and immunizations, monitoring catheters, and dressing wounds. They also assist patients with tasks such as bathing and dressing. It is crucial that LPNs consistently monitor patients for any changes in their health status. Any observed changes must be reported to a physician or registered nurse.
Typically, licensed practical nurses work full time or 40 hours per week. Most of the establishments that they are employed by have patients who need round-the-clock care, so LPNs may be required to work evening, weekend, and holiday shifts.
Individuals who wish to pursue a career as a licensed practical nurse must first apply and be accepted to a vocational program. This program will take an average of one year for the student to graduate. The vocational training must be state-approved in order for students to proceed and earn their certification as a licensed practical nurse, which they must obtain in order to start working.
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