Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

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Also known as:  Licensed Practical Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, LP Nurse, LPN, LVN, Pediatric Licensed Practical Nurse, Triage Licensed Practical Nurse

ABOUT LICENSED PRACTICAL OR LICENSED VOCATIONAL NURSE CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
For a licensed practical nurse, or LPN, helping people is the top priority. Overall, LPNs provide physical and emotional care for the sick, injured and handicapped. Specific duties range from taking a patient's blood pressure to starting intravenous fluids too assisting emergency room staff during o ...
perations. Because a patient's well-being depends greatly on quality care from LPNs, responsibility and emotional strength are pre-requisites for the job.

If you're interested in this career, you must be observant, able to notice changes in a patient's condition and take quick and decisive action in any situation. Since LPNs play an active role in teaching people how to stay healthy, you should also be willing to be called upon to teach family members basic nursing tasks or to speak to children about good health and diet habits.

This occupation is not without its risks, as you must be prepared to work with people with infectious diseases. However, by following safety policies and procedures, an LPN's job can be kept both safe and satisfying.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Care for ill, injured, or convalescing patients or persons with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Apply compresses, ice bags, or hot water bottles.
Record food and fluid intake and output.
Administer prescribed medications or start intravenous fluids, noting times and amounts on patients' charts.
Collect samples, such as blood, urine, or sputum from patients, and perform routine laboratory tests on samples.
Help patients with bathing, dressing, maintaining personal hygiene, moving in bed, or standing and walking.
Assemble and use equipment, such as catheters, tracheotomy tubes, or oxygen suppliers.
Evaluate nursing intervention outcomes, conferring with other healthcare team members as necessary.
Work as part of a healthcare team to assess patient needs, plan and modify care, and implement interventions.
Prepare patients for examinations, tests, or treatments and explain procedures.
Inventory and requisition supplies and instruments.
Provide basic patient care or treatments, such as taking temperatures or blood pressures, dressing wounds, treating bedsores, giving enemas or douches, rubbing with alcohol, massaging, or performing catheterizations.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
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