Aside from registered nurses that everyone is familiar with, there is also another type of nurses called the licensed practical nurses (LPN) that helps patients with their needs. Also known in some areas as licensed vocational nurses, these people also compose a big fraction of the medical staff directly assisting a sick personís needs. They may either be contractual or regular workers of the institution.
A licensed practical nurse is a high school graduate. He or she must possess a diploma, a certificate or an associate degree from one to two years practical nursing program of any recognized educational institution. Most importantly, licensed practical nurses are passers of the state regulated examination called the NCLEX-PN.
Depending on rules and guidelines set by the hospital or the State code, this kind of nurses can be assigned to wards ranging from the pediatrics to the geriatrics or to as far as even the reception area. But then again, not all of them can be found at the hospital. These practical nurses can be at outpatient facilities, federal government and military facilities, therapeutic and mental institutions, and a home care setup. The type of care they administer is also restricted by their contract.
Customarily under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses but may differ depending on what the code provides, LPN job descriptions include giving booster shots, collecting blood and urine samples, doing routine check-ups and providing nourishment to patients. They can also perform office jobs such as assisting the patientís family members on the proper way to deal with the patient, scheduling check-ups and shots appointments, arranging and filing medical charts, and referring patients to qualified doctors and medical institutions. Sometimes head nurses and nurse managers assigned them other tasks that are usually not associated with what practical nurses do. Proficient and qualified LPNs can be given the privilege of overseeing nurse aides and assistants after some time.
These licensed practical nurses are basically responsible with facilitating the patientís rehabilitation by performing the necessary medication prescribed by physicians, giving emotional support to alleviate the pain, and monitoring the overall health status throughout the stay at the institution.