All The Duties of an LPN

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    Hello as some might know i am knew to nursing. What are some everyday things you do as a LPN, I really would love to have this as my career I just have no insight on all the duties THANK YOU
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Apr 17, '05 : Reason: removed email address
  2. 15 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Depends on your province/state's scope of practice.

    I'm responsible for admissions, discharges, physical assessments as required, wound care and dressing changes. Teaching (ie, ostomy care, breast feeding, new born care, self care after surgery, insulin administration), meds (oral, injectible, and IV), oh and my favourite when I work LTC I get to be the "team leader" and try and keep the NA's motivated, and ensure that they do their patient care. Process orders from NPs and MDs. Call families, charting, find staff to replace the called in sick

    Depending on the phase of the moon, I even have to ensure that the meals for my unit are ordered.
  4. 0
    Well, I work in LTC on a sub-acute unit. If I'm doing charge, I do rounds, take report, give out assignments, help with feeding residents, prepare paperwork for any residents leaving the facility for an appointment. Then I start my wound care, including ostomy care. We have several residents who came to us with some nasty stage IV's in various areas - a couple have wound vacs & the treatments take approx. 2 hours, on an uninterrupted day . If a resident has any acute distress I'll take over in monitoring them & contacting the MD for instructions, including having to send them to the hospital if necessary. In between I'll pick up MD orders, monthly medication renewals, assist with charting, attend various meetings, deal with all the other departments & family members, do rounds with MDs & supervise the CNA's. I'm also responsible for care plans, any admissions or discharges. If I'm working as the medication nurse I count my narcs, get report, do the blood glucose monitoring/ give insulin, take blood pressures & pulses (our CNAs do the temp, pulse & respirations but I only trust my own) then start my meds. I do bolus feedings on my med rounds, & also check any IV sites/tubing, feeding pumps/tubing & give nebulizer treatments. We assist with feeding at lunch, then there are 1PM meds. Then charting & paperwork, reorder meds, send back meds or destroy. Sometimes there's an in-service to attend (ALWAYS at the most inconvenient times) & there's always some unexpected event to be counted on. It's a busy hectic day but (most) of the time I love it! Good luck!
  5. 0
    Quote from Fiona59
    Depends on your province/state's scope of practice.

    I'm responsible for admissions, discharges, physical assessments as required, wound care and dressing changes. Teaching (ie, ostomy care, breast feeding, new born care, self care after surgery, insulin administration), meds (oral, injectible, and IV), oh and my favourite when I work LTC I get to be the "team leader" and try and keep the NA's motivated, and ensure that they do their patient care. Process orders from NPs and MDs. Call families, charting, find staff to replace the called in sick

    Depending on the phase of the moon, I even have to ensure that the meals for my unit are ordered.
    Fiona be careful how you state being a team leader to keep the cna motivated. We are not drill sargents the cna either can break or make a nurse. I have worked with many useless cna but it tuff to get them out How long have you been a nurse
  6. 0
    The LTC where I work has the reputation for the worst NA staff in my area. Having said that there a few good ones.

    Their union is even at the point where they are shaking their heads. Arrive drunk, no problem. Fail to call in, life happens, shout at LPNs and RN's no problem. Even they admit they have problem members but without documentation they can't act.

    The NA's who do their job without calling in sick, arriving late, and care about their jobs are so demoralized its not funny. Nursing schools have refused to have their students work certain units because of the NA attitude towards students. The care manager sees what she wants and doesn't understand why she can't keep nurses. In her eyes, the worst offenders are her best NA's because they've been there forever.

    So, yes, I try and keep the students and new hires motivated. Average life of a new NA on that unit is three months, nurses last maybe six.

    Yup, I left, too. Don't need to be called a ***** because I asked why first and second breaks go at the SAME time.

    Walk a mile in my shoes before you get too critical.
  7. 0
    Quote from sweetmom
    Hello as some might know i am knew to nursing. What are some everyday things you do as a LPN, I really would love to have this as my career I just have no insight on all the duties THANK YOU

    Well, I work for my state in MR/DDS...Mental Retardation Developmental Disabilities Services. In short, Mentally and Physically challenged people.
    My main job function is administering medications to approximately 40 to 60 people, depending on how many nurses are working. Supposed to be 3, but can be 2.
    We give alot of antiepileptic meds and psychotropic meds. We give meds by mouth, injection, rectal, etc. We have to know what we're giving, the indications/uses, dosage range, and side effects.
    I check several diabetics thru fingerstick/glucometer for blood sugar and give insulin, routine and sliding scale dosages. We have several people on blood pressure meds so their b/p's are monitored daily or some are done weekly.
    The type of people I help care for are sometimes unable to control their emotions and became angry, acting out against other people served OR staff.
    There are procedures in place for mechanical restraint, and it is very strict. Policies are followed to the letter. Very little chemical restraint is used. If someone needs medication to reduce an extreme behavior, it must be approved by several people before it can be given. A doctor's order is just the first step in many to give a medication to someone for their behavior in an extreme situation. We have to be very careful what we give these people.
    These people are also easily injured, either when they get into scuffles with someone else or thru self abuse, or just simply accidental. LPNs assess for injuries, pain, redness, swelling, etc, for fractured bones. We get FXs quite often. These people can't tell you where they hurt, {alot of them can't} so you have to go alot on appearances, how someone is walking/acting, appearances of the affected limb, so forth.
    They also get lacerations alot. If it isn't too deep/severe, LPNs can either steri strip it or apply the new glue...dermabond. I do glue alot of lacerations, also send alot to the ER for closure by a physician.
    Incident reports are a big thing where I work. Any injuries. esp unexplained must be investigated. So I have paperwork to do on incident reports.
    We assess them for any complaints they may have and treat accordingly thru standing orders or call the physician for futher orders. We get alot of skin rashes, athlete's feet, that sort of thing, and diarrhea/vomiting upset.
    I work evenings, so I don't have to deal with "clinic call" in the am, where sick/injured people come up to see the doctor, but we have several LPNs who work dayshift who do work in the clinic. They assist the MD with exams, procedures, etc.
    The LPNS also take orders off the charts, writing it where it needs to go, if medications, it must go on the med sheet and cards made out. Dietary changes go to dietary, lab work .....the RNs draw blood or sometimes the person has to go to the ER for blood draws. LPNs don't draw blood where I work.
    I do monthly weights on a certain group of people, yearly heights on the same group, I do monthly breast exams on my assigned female people, and if I find anything unusual, I give that person an appointment to see the physician the next day for his further evaluation.
    We have 2 people who are fed thru a G-tube and I think we're going to get another one. They get nothing by mouth.
    They have been diagnosed as easy to aspirate so they have to have the G-tubes. Their medications have to be given thru the tubes also.
    We give updraft treatments to people for respiratory problems/difficulties.
    I do treatments...anything that is a Prescription only med/ointment, the nurses have to do. Our CNAs can do over the counter type stuff.
    LPNs collect urine/stool samples for lab work. We put in foleys, and change them monthly, we do mini/cath to obtain sterile urine sample for lab, according to doctors orders.
    We do alot, but I know that LPNs who work in the hospitals are much busier and more loaded down with work than we are.
    We don't do IVs where I work just due to the nature of these people. If they are sick enough for IVs they have to go to the hospital for it.
    We couldn't leave an IV hanging around these folks. It would be pulled out before you could bat an eye. Sooooo....I don't get any IV experience on this job.
    Our population is aging, so we are treating more and more like for Geriactric people. We used to have alot of school age children, but alot of changes have been happening, and our school aged children have left us.
    We have certain routine paper work to be done monthly.....medication sheets and treatment sheets, mostly.
    We have to count narcotics at the beginning and end of every shift.
    We reorder medications that need to be ordered in between refill days that the pharmacist does. We sign in the meds she refills and brings us.
    Gosh, this ought to be enough, ya think? There's alot more we do, but I think you have a pretty good idea what I do on my job.

    LPNs can do alot, or do a little according to where they work, their state BON requirements and their particular facility's requirements. Just depends. Some LPNs get to do IVs and some don't.

    Hope you will find enough interesting things in these posts to encourage you to go for a nursing career. I enjoy my job, but I would advise you to go on for RN if possible, or maybe do the LPN now and go later on for your RN degree.
    Last edit by LPN1974 on Apr 21, '05
  8. 0
    Quote from Fiona59
    The LTC where I work has the reputation for the worst NA staff in my area. Having said that there a few good ones.

    Their union is even at the point where they are shaking their heads. Arrive drunk, no problem. Fail to call in, life happens, shout at LPNs and RN's no problem. Even they admit they have problem members but without documentation they can't act.

    The NA's who do their job without calling in sick, arriving late, and care about their jobs are so demoralized its not funny. Nursing schools have refused to have their students work certain units because of the NA attitude towards students. The care manager sees what she wants and doesn't understand why she can't keep nurses. In her eyes, the worst offenders are her best NA's because they've been there forever.

    So, yes, I try and keep the students and new hires motivated. Average life of a new NA on that unit is three months, nurses last maybe six.

    Yup, I left, too. Don't need to be called a ***** because I asked why first and second breaks go at the SAME time.

    Walk a mile in my shoes before you get too critical.


    Fiona: very well and professionally stated!!!
  9. 0
    Thanks, I was feeling rather put down. :flowersfo

    The fact is, I usually don't post unless I know what I'm talking about. Besides the husband used to be a drill sarg.:chuckle and trust me, I sound nothing like him!!
  10. 0
    Quote from sweetmom
    Hello as some might know i am knew to nursing. What are some everyday things you do as a LPN, I really would love to have this as my career I just have no insight on all the duties THANK YOU
    I'm an LVN/LPN in the ER...Start IV's and maintain, do blood draws, administer meds within my scope, blood transfusions, and all the nasty dirty work some of the RNs can't or don't want to do...funny thing is, I'm working on my RN and I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when things change. My boss knows what exactly is going on and she has had to pull some RNs in for taking advantage. I don't complain (really, I don't) but I do have some staff that look out for me. Either way, the more experience I get, the more I can focus on the RN aspect when the time comes. I'll already have basic ckills down pat.

    Good Luck to You!
  11. 0
    Hello! Welcome to the nursing profession! : ) LPN duties vary according to area and type of position. I am currently a charge nurse in a 31 bed assisted living facility. I am responsible for admissions including all paper work, vital signs, treatments (dressing changes, aerosols, topicals etc), charting, medication administration, all contact with families (keeping them informed)
    and doctors, take doctor's orders and process, supervision of Resident Aides, scheduling appointments, assessments, assist with resident care as needed.
    I fornunately do not have to find replacements for call off at this facility, which can be very time consuming. We always have an On Call person from
    administration who we contact for call offs. Good luck in your career!
    Sandi


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