Licensed Practical Nurses perform a variety of tasks under the supervision of a registered nurse. They administer medicine and injections, and take vital signs.
LPNs provide basic bedside care and measure and record patients' vital signs such as weight, height, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. They also prepare and give injections and enemas, monitor catheters, dress wounds, and give alcohol rubs and massages.
To help keep patients comfortable, they assist with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene, moving in bed, standing, and walking. They might also feed patients who need help eating. Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides, and other LPNs.
As part of their work, LPNs collect samples for testing, perform routine laboratory tests, and record food and fluid intake and output. They clean and monitor medical equipment. Sometimes, they help physicians and registered nurses perform tests and procedures. Some LPNs help to deliver, care for, and feed infants.
LPNs also monitor their patients and report adverse reactions to medications or treatments. LPNs gather information from patients, including their health history and how they are currently feeling.
They may use this information to complete insurance forms, pre-authorizations, and referrals, and they share information with registered nurses and doctors to help determine the best course of care for a patient. LPNs often teach family members how to care for a relative or teach patients about good health habits.
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