*fresh off our director's of operations desk*
In my seven years of nursing I've worked with nurses who have various credentials. I've worked with LPNs and RNs with DNPs and PhDs. A common factor is the lpn is underrepresented, underappreciated, and not respected.
I worked with a brand new nurse, once. Brand new meaning she'd only passed her boards two months prior. I overheard her telling the supervisor, "I'm so tired of these LPNS trying to tell me what to do. They aren't real nurses. You know LPN stands for let's play nurse." I was livid! My impulse reaction was to give her a piece of my mind. I decided to educate her, instead. An LPN taught me my clinical skills. An LPN taught me how to think critically. An LPN is my mentor, in wound care, and has built a business traveling the county, educating physicians and nurses on proper wound treatment. LPNS perform tasks including, but not limited to:
- Direct Patient Care
- Monitoring and Obtaining Patients' Vital Signs
- Administering Injections and Performing Venipunctures (blood draws)
- Performing Wound Care
- Patient Education
- Coordinating Care with Physicians
- Administering oral, subcutaneous, Sublingual, and IV medications
- Collecting specimens such as blood, urine, sputum, and etc
- Inserting urinary catheters
- Caring for patients with tracheostomy tubes and ventilators
- Inserting nasogastric tubes and caring for those patients
- Giving feedings through a nasogastric or gastrostomy tube
- Caring for and educating patients with ostomies
- Monitoring patients for changes, in condition and notifying physicians
- Performing CPR
HERE ARE TWO REASONS WHY THE LPN IS IMPORTANT:
- Lots of facilities, especially those in long term care, could not function without the LPNs. They are an important part of the nursing staff, at times managing the building on evening, night, and weekend shifts when no RN is on site.
- LPNs are often the first line of defense and advocacy for patients. Practical nurses are often more hands-on with patients, performing bedside care, passing medication, performing wound care, and etc. The Lpn will often notice a change in condition and be the first to report it the physician.