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Responsibilities and Duties of an LPN

Gather Information:

When a patient first arrives at a medical facility, it is the LPN’s duty to gather the patient’s health history. This is a necessary step, as it allows the person performing the LPN job to fill out insurance forms, referrals, and pre-authorization forms. Also, the doctors and registered nurses will need the health history in order to determine the best way to treat the patient’s ailments.

Record Vital Signs:

One of the first things an LPN will do with a patent is record their vital signs. Vital signs include: pulse, blood pressure, respiration, temperature, and even height and weight. The initial check of the vital signs will give the doctors and nurses a benchmark, so that they can measure the initial health and recovery of the patient as they treat him/her.

Testing, Injections, and Caring for Wounds:

LPNs are trained in the laboratory, so it is common for them to take samples from the patient and run them to the lab to perform routine tests. They are also qualified to give simple injections and enemas. It is also up to the LPN to clean wounds, dress the wounds, and apply bandages. Sometimes the dressings will need changing and the LPN is in charge of that as well.

Monitor Patients:

There are a million things going on at a hospital or other medical facility, and someone has to check and confirm that each patient is being taken care of and stable. To make sure the patient’s body is functioning properly, it is important to check their food and fluid intake and output. Also, it is up to the LPN to make sure the patient is responding well to their medication. They must monitor how the medications are making the patients’ feel and if there are any unfavorable reactions to the medications or recent treatments. The LPN must also make sure the patient is taking their medication on time. Aside from the medications, an LPN must change and monitor catheters, naso-gastric tubes, and epidural infusions. It is also important that they pay attention to tracheotomy care, fluid bags, and oxygen supplies. Finally, LPNs must monitor patients who are on an IV drip. IV drips may provide the patient with administered blood, medications, or glucose. The LPN must check to make sure the levels of the IVs are decent and change them when the times comes.

Keep the Patient Comfortable:

Many patients are bedridden and so their quality of life depends of the amount of comfort the LPN can provide them with. Therefore, it is common for an LPN to give a patient therapeutic alcohol rubs and massages, if the patient requests it. Also, many patients are dealing with severe internal and external turmoil. They may need an emotional crutch and a good LPN will be there to offer their support, not only in the physical health sense, but in the emotional sense as well.

Assist in Daily Living:

This task is something LPNs have to perform, especially in nursing homes. Many patients have trouble standing, getting dressed, and even going to the bathroom. Personal hygiene may be hard for some patients to maintain, so the LPN might have to help the patient with things like bathing. The LPN might change a patient’s bedding, and sometimes they might even have to help feed the patient if the patient is incapacitated.

Provide Information:

Licensed LPNs are often the ones to explain proper health habits to patients. Also, sometimes before a patient leaves to go home, the LPN must explain to family members how to properly care for the patient, now that the patient has been treated.

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