Learn More About Practical Nursing

Practical nurses are practical – in more ways than one! While registered nurses fill a large genre in the medical field, practical nurses are the ones that keep the patients comfortable, medicated, fed and bathed. They are, quite frankly, the primary caregivers and the ones that administer many medical procedures. Learn more about these amazing men and women who do so much for the medical profession.

Duties of Practical Nurses

As a practical nurse, you will be expected to perform many duties under the supervision of medical staff and registered nurses. LPNs, or licensed practical nurses, typically provide basic bedside care. They also administer enemas, give injections, check vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, weight, height, pulse, respiration) and assist with bathing, dressing, changing, feeding and helping patients walk. They also move patients in bed, do lifting, and supervise nursing assistants or aides. You will be doing most of the dirty work when it comes to patients – practical nurses are those people who really love their jobs and love taking care of people.

As well, you'll be keeping a close eye on your patients to make sure they don't react to treatments or medications. Because you're more experienced than a nursing assistant, you'll be supervising their work, as well. Practical nurses do a lot of teaching – you'll teach family members how to look after an infirm patient, for example. You'll also be in charge of gathering information from the patient for charts and for forms, helping out the registered nurse and the doctor when it comes time to learn about a patient and their care. You're the first line of help for a patient – when he rings, you come running.

Practical nurses work in all sorts of health care fields, but generally you'll see them in hospitals. As well, some practical nurses are qualified to administer prescribed medicines, take care of patients on ventilators, and start intravenous fluids. If a practical nurse works in a nursing care facility, they help to develop care plans and evaluate the resident's needs. If you're a practical nurse, your job doesn't stop – you're responsible for a lot of duties and a lot of people.

Practical nurses help to keep the health care field running – they're an incredibly important part of the health care field. Take a look at the job outlook to see if practical nursing is the right career path for you.

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