Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

What Do Licensed Practical Nurses Do?

Job Descriptions June 30, 2014

Nearly everyone remembers at least one overnight stay in a hospital. A smiling nurse arrived in the morning, drew back the curtains to let the sunshine in, checked your blood pressure and IV bag if you had one, fluffed your pillows, took your temperature, and asked how you were doing. She or he brought you your breakfast, changed your bed pan or assisted you to the bathroom if you were able to walk, and made some notes on a clipboard. This was the practical nurse making her rounds.

A Variety of Tasks

It’s the practical nurse that dispenses your medication and monitors your reactions. She may collect blood and fluid samples for the lab. She keeps records of your progress and enters the reports into the computer. She consults with your family members, explaining how they can be helpful in continuing your patient care. If you are wounded, she is the one that changes your bandages and dressing.

Practical nurses work in a variety of settings. They may be responsible for giving immunizations at a clinic, scheduling appointments, billing patients, contacting the insurance companies for consultation, and even for writing prescriptions under the instruction of the physician.

In extended care, they may help with the rehabilitation process by monitoring the progress of the patients, helping the patients in and out of wheel chairs, assisting with their daily bathing and dressing, and providing emotional support for both the patient and family members. They may administer injections and pull and prepare the patients’ charts. They are responsible for keeping patient rooms neat and orderly and for stocking patient rooms with supplies.

Beyond the Clinic

There is a large demand for practical nurses in elderly care. They can be found both at nursing homes and in private home settings. If you have elderly parents who live in the home and require patient care, it’s the practical nurse that comes to visit. The practical nurse checks in on the patient, discusses with the family proper diet and exercise, monitors the patient’s vitals, rotates bed-ridden patients, and checks for bed sores.

Practical nurses must be knowledgeable in a wide range of skills. They must know and understand medical terminology and be able to observe the effects of medications on the patients. They must be able to communicate negative effects clearly, such as a loss of appetite, possible allergic reactions, if the dosage seems to be too strong, or if the medication is causing mental confusion.

Practical nurses must be efficient, create and maintain work schedules, recognize priority care, and file and retrieve information. Their relationship with both the patient and the family members is a personable one, answering questions that help clarify what the patient needs while maintaining patient confidentiality.

They also must have a great deal of physical stamina. Practical nurses are on their feet most of the day while attending to patient care. They lift, support, and assist patients that do not have free range of movement, carry materials and heavy equipment, and perform a variety of other tasks that require physical exertion.

Their lives are centered primarily around care giving, not only to the patient but as a supportive and sympathetic individual to families in crisis. The family may turn to the practical nurse for assurance, hope, and advice. The practical nurse must be there for them, helping them learn the techniques of a rehabilitation process or soothe the grief of inevitable loss. The job of a practical nurse is as both a mental and physical caregiver.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Fortis Institute , Grand Prairie
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
South University , Virginia Beach
  • Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.
  • Graduate-level specialization options include Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, and more.
  • Nursing programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Non-profit university accredited by WASC Senior Commission
  • Professors with real-world experience and student centered approach
  • Flexible, fully online degree programs responding to the market needs
  • All courses are offered six times a year with clear path to completion and reduced time-to-degree
  • No additional costs for textbooks or other fees
  • Personal support from application to graduation leading to high retention and graduation rates
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Non-profit university accredited by WASC Senior Commission
  • Professors with real-world experience and student centered approach
  • Flexible, fully online degree programs responding to the market needs
  • All courses are offered six times a year with clear path to completion and reduced time-to-degree
  • No additional costs for textbooks or other fees
  • Personal support from application to graduation leading to high retention and graduation rates
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!