LPNs provide direct care to patient under the direction and supervision of RNs and doctors. They take charge of patients as the situations dictate.
Their other responsibilities may include gathering health data of the patient, taking vital signs such as blood pressure and temperature, feeding patients, preparing and giving injections, applying bandages and dressings, collecting laboratory sample for analysis and testing, helping patients with their personal hygiene, monitoring input and output of food and liquid taken by patients, reporting changes happening to patients to the nurse, giving massages, administering enemas, and teaching patients and their members of the family pertaining to good nutrition and health habits.
Experienced LPNs may give order or supervise nursing aids and assistants (McNutt). The role of LPNs include promoting and maintaining health, providing care using the nursing process and standardized procedures, including giving of medications and treatments, under the supervision and direction of an RN or a licensed physician or dentist, exercising suitable nursing judgment, and preventing injury and illness (Morgan).
Competence required in practical nursing practice shall include knowledge and compliance with standardized procedures pertaining to nursing practice, applicable regulations and statutes, standards for nursing practice, assumption of responsibility for acknowledging that limitations of personal knowledge and experience, and consulting with or referring patients to other healthcare providers in order to address situations beyond the knowledge and expertise of LPN.
LPNs are required to have a basic knowledge of the physical, biological and behavioral sciences and of skills in nursing but not necessary to have considerable specialized skill, independent judgment and knowledge necessary in the professional nursing practice. The requirement of having appropriate education and training may be conducted under emergency situations or other conditions which are determined by the medical and nursing professions as proper to be performed by an LPN (Morgan).
Employment and Salary of LPNs Working as an LPN can be challenging because it requires long hours, a high degree of patience and much physical work. An LPN must be able to deal with job stress, remain calm, be caring and decisive and excellent emotional skills to get along with both patients and medical team members. Prospects of employment of LPNs will continue to grow because of an increasing aging population and the establishment of various health care services.
There is enough room for LPNs to become flexible in their work schedule even though it can be very complicated. They must learn how to combine work and personal responsibilities well. The salary range of LPNs depends on their work place, their experience and their location. LPNs with more than two years of experience can earn from $30,000 upwards per year. There is an additional pay for overtime and usually LPNs are also eligible for several work benefits.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that LPNs can earn an average pay of $31,080 to $46,640 annually. LPNs who are in employment services earn the highest median wage at $42,110 while those who are working in nursing care facilities and home health care have the next highest median salaries, respectively at $37,880 and $38,320. LPNs who are working in the hospital sector can earn $35,000 annually on average while those who are working in physician’s clinics can earn a median salary of $32,710 per year (McNutt).