A Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, gives medication to patients as prescribed by the physician, records and monitors the patient’s temperature, weight and blood pressure, performs first aid and gives immunizations to patients. Depending on where the LPN is employed, some specific assignments may include supervising Certified Nursing Assistants, monitoring a patient’s food and fluid intake, and monitoring intravenous medication.
An LPN can work in a nursing home where the job description may include assisting with the intake of new residents, taking medical histories, assisting physicians during resident room rounds, delegating duties to nursing assistants and orderlies, and performing ongoing monitoring of a resident’s physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Working at a hospital or private clinic, a LPN may plan and manage a patient’s care, take a patient’s vital signs, ensure the information in the patient’s chart is accurate, and document the patient’s reaction to treatments and medication. A hospital LPN also interacts with the patient’s family and provides information to them about the patient’s care.
A home health LPN works in the patient’s home, and assists the patient with personal hygiene, observes and records information about the patient’s general health, and changes the patient's dressings and bandages when necessary. The home health LPN also makes sure the patient is taking his medication properly.