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LPN Areas of Specialization

When most people think of licensed practical nurses (LPNs), they automatically think hospitals, but as a matter of fact many LPNs choose to specialize in other areas. Doctor’s offices provide promising careers for LPNs, giving them a chance to do both office and medical work. Nursing homes offer another possibility. As the baby boomers let go of their youth, nursing homes are filling up, leaving many job opportunities for LPNs in their wake. Lastly, many LPNs are engaging in home health care, allowing the nurse to establish long-lasting relationships with his/her patients, which is not likely to happen in a hospital realm. This article will discuss the various tasks and perks of each specialization: doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and home health care.

Doctor’s Offices:

            Doctor’s offices provide the LPN with variety. New patients will always be walking in and out, so the LPN will have a chance to come across many different faces in a year. Also, an LPN’s duties at a doctor’s office will not only include medical, but also clerical duties. Medical duties will include things like checking vital signs, conducting tests for different illnesses such as respiratory syncytial virus and strep throat, and prepping the patient for examination. Clerical duties might include tasks like answering telephone calls, logging in appointments, entering medical information into computers, and greeting people as they come in. This is a great job because once you discover you are bored with one task, and entirely different set of duties await you tomorrow.

Nursing Homes:

            LPNs that work in nursing homes have an extra responsibility for providing an emotional outreach. Many people in nursing homes are contemplating their own mortality and may be very lonely. It is important that the LPN lend an ear to these people and develop strong bonds. The work at a nursing care facility will involve many bedridden patients, so they may need help bathing, shaving, dressing, and going to the restroom. Also, since people in nursing homes may spend more time in bed than the majority of the population, they will be prone to particular ailments like bedsores that will need to be treated and dressed immediately to help them heal. Another particularity of nursing home care is that the patients may suffer from memory loss, so medication will have to be strictly monitored. It is important that the LPN make sure that the patient takes their medication on time and in the right dosage.

Home Health Care:

            The term home health care often conjures up images of the elderly, but really the job is much more varied. Just like at a nursing home, the home health care LPN will develop strong bonds with their patients, but these patients turn to home health care for a number of different reasons. Patients suffering from cancer, coping with diabetes, experiencing pregnancy complications or recovering from childbirth, injured athletes, and even sick children may be in need of home health care. Like nursing homes, home health care may require bedside service such as changing catheters and monitoring IVs. Providing comfort to the patient by way of alcohol rubs or massages may also be part of the job description. If the person receiving home health care is incapacitated, helping them do things as simple as eating and drinking may be one of your duties as an LPN.

            As you can see, though LPNs who work in specialized facilities may do many of the same tasks as a general LPN, there are some differences. LPNs who work in specialized facilities will receive such perks as variety in the work place and the ability to create strong bonds with patients.

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