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

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 operations. 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
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
Daily tasks

Apply compresses, ice bags, or hot water bottles.

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.

Prepare patients for examinations, tests, or treatments and explain procedures.

Work as part of a healthcare team to assess patient needs, plan and modify care, and implement interventions.

Record food and fluid intake and output.

Supervise nurses' aides or assistants.

Assemble and use equipment, such as catheters, tracheotomy tubes, or oxygen suppliers.

Administer prescribed medications or start intravenous fluids, noting times and amounts on patients' charts.

Measure and record patients' vital signs, such as height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, or respiration.

Observe patients, charting and reporting changes in patients' conditions, such as adverse reactions to medication or treatment, and taking any necessary action.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
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.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
TOP SKILLS
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.