There are only few professions, which are selfless and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is certainly one among them. A LPN is also known as Licensed vocational nurse (LNV) in some states. An LPN has a huge list of responsibilities starting from the normal routine activities of the patient as well as many other additional responsibilities. The very nature of the job demands the basic requirements like the LPN being healthy, with good stamina, very caring, intelligent, alert, tactful, and the quality of developing a relationship with the patients.
LPN Job Description
Most of the LPNs work for 40-hour a week. In case of the patient needing attention all 24 hours, LPNs work shifts, weekends, holidays all 365 days. Licensed Practical Nurses work with hospitals, nursing home, mental health institutions, community health clinics, public health departments, and private homes. Their main job is to keep the patient at ease and happy. They take care of all needs of patients, often bedside care like bathing, dressing, eating, moving, giving injections, massages, taking vital signs, help patient for feeding infants, educate the patient and family on healthy habits, supervising nursing assistants and aides etc.
In addition, the LPN is expected to maintain patient’s records up to date, chart maintenance, clean medical equipment, watch out patient’s reaction to the medicine and treatment and keep the physicians reported in case of abnormalities.
The job of an LPN also includes risks of being exposed to heavy chemicals, infectious disease, radiation etc. The risks of damaging their backs are more since the LPNs have to move the patients. They also have to be totally relaxed while dealing with psycho patients and other totally non-cooperative patients.
LPN Training and Certification
To become an eligible LPN, it is required to undergo a complete training program, which is normally a one-year course (it could slightly vary from state to state) offered by various community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, universities, or online courses. The basic qualification to even do this course requires a high school diploma or something equal to that. Since the requirements vary from state to state, it is advised to study the state rules before taking the training to ensure that it meets one’s needs.
This one year program provides a practical experience on clinical practice under supervision, thorough theoretical knowledge on anatomy, nutrition, pharmacology, first aid, pediatrics, obstetrics nursing etc.
It is also very essential to acquire the license to practice as an LPN. This is obtained by clearing an online (computer based) exam called The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). The safety and effective care environment, physiological ethics, psychological ethics; health promotion and maintenance are the four major categories, which are tested through this exam.
LPN Career, Job Prospects and Salary
With the increase in the population of old and sick people, and the increase in accidents and injuries, the demand for the LPN obviously, is increasing. One need not stop just as a LPN, but keep advancing in that career by taking further courses and adding certification in specialized and aspired fields.
A LPN’s salary ranges approximately from $31,000 to $ 47000, the hourly rate ranging from $14 to $24 depending on the reputation of the employers or industries.
This is one of the best careers to reach heights if one is very ambitious as the employment growth is rapid in the health care industries. Rural areas are demanding more LPNs as they are lacking them and an LPN may also relocate to a rural area if it suits her or him.