Nurses are an important part of the health care team as they play a major role in the rehabilitation of patients. In most cases they are the ones providing most of the direct care that is given to patients. The duties that are conducted by a nurse heavily depend on the position that they hold.If we look at the broad categories, we have two types of nurses Registered Nurses (RN) and Practical Nurses (PN) in the USA. Apart from this, we also categorise nurses based on their area of work or where their duties are assigned.
Whether you undertake an accredited nursing program at a nursing school or online, you will also be required to complete clinical internships that provide you with the practical skills to become a good nurse. As a fully qualified RN, you will be able to work in a hospital or health clinic while completing your more advanced nursing education.
For being an LPN Licensed Practical Nurse, you should have passed high school and then obtain a one-year certificate program in nursing. LPNs often work under RN’s supervision while in some states they may be supervised by more experienced LPNs.
BUT for both, after you complete your educational requirements you need Licensure and the completion of the NCLEX exam is mandatory for that.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for an NCLEX review program that is well updated and provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to pass the NCLEX in your first attempt, we recommend Brilliant Nurse, which offer a variety of courses for RN as well as PN aspirants. Check out the given links: Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track
The responsibilities of a nurse at core are the same, but have slight limitations fro an LPN. hence there are little differences in their roles.
Registered Nurse: ROLES!
An RN has to know the requirements of the patients under their care. In most hospitals the nurses are also expected to accompany the doctors in the ward rounds. If there are changes with the patient, then the doctor is updated, these include discussing developments that have taken place since the patient was put under their care.
Let’s take a closer look on their major duties. The daily activities of these qualified practitioners include:
1) Directly involved in patient care, they assisting the patients to take blood pressure, pulse and temperature and record the physical findings
2) Monitor the conditions of the patients
3) Carry out examinations and preventive health measures
4) Prepare patients for surgeries and wound treatments
5) Perform minor operations independently
6) Assist doctors or physicians in major surgeries or complicated medical procedures
7) Prepare care plans for patients under the supervision of doctors
8) Interpret and evaluate individuals’ health care requirements
9) Write prescriptions (allowable in certain states in US)
10)Prepare patients’ progress reports to the physicians on a consistent basis
11)Communicate with patients closely and emphasizing on disease prevention
12) Detailed communication with other nurses on staff
To sum up their role we can say that apart from what has been mentioned above, patient care also includes supervision of rehabilitation procedures and therapies. Nurses must at all times ensure that patients are in the best comfort possible within the confines of the hospital and also to assist patients access specialized health care like counselling should the patient request such help. When it comes to patients, due diligence must observed to avoid lawsuits that can arise from negligent actions of the service providers.
In the disbursement of their duties, the nurses also ensure that drug therapy is administered to the patients. This may include patiently explaining to the patient what they are doing and why they are doing it. Related to these duties is the collection of accurate data from patients and in the event that a nurse has just been allocated a new patient, such a nurse should take time to study the file presented to them. This allows for optimal delivery of services.
They also coordinate the running of most hospitals by forwarding and receiving laboratory results that had been ordered. They also coordinate tasks of the various doctors in the health facilities and enforce some of their decisions or recommendations. They also delegate tasks to their assistants and orderlies.
The nurses thereby take part in the administration of the facility. Administrative services taking care of the inventory, ensuring machines like the MRIs under their department are working, ensuring that high standards of cleanliness are maintained as well as to keep records of drugs that are used in the hospital with the help of the pharmacists.
Being a qualified practitioner, one is required to be competent in delivering excellent health care to patients of all ages. In order to perform the daily tasks successfully, learning new knowledge and techniques is essential in today’s fast changing world.
Practical Nurse: ROLES!
What exactly do licensed practical nurses do and where can they work? As a nurse, those are usually the questions that you may be asked by some people. Because the LPN’s roles are unique, answering such questions can be a bit tough. So here are some of the answers you might be looking for.
A licensed practical nurse is also called a license vocational nurse and a registered practical nurse. The names may vary depending on the state or country you are in. Generally, license practical nurses are those who have undergone training and have obtained a license that allows them to provide routine care to the sick.LPNs report to a registered nurse or a physician. They work under their supervision. LPNs are also tasked to oversee and supervise nursing assistants in some medical facilities. They also help in extending help and perform comforting functions like bathing the patient, helping to reposition them in bed. Often the LPN will help the patient to dress or eat, even helping the patient to stand or walk.
RNs have a longer educational curriculum and program. So, have a much wider knowledge on pharmacology, pathophysiology, management, legal issues, ethical practices and leadership. An LPN’s role in the medical facility depends on the state or country where he or she is working in. In some states, such as Texas, licensed practical nurses have a wide range of roles, making their tasks almost the same as the registered nurses’. They can initiate IV starts, administer medications with an IV push, as well as maintain central lines. There are other states though, like New York, that gives more limits to the LPNs’ roles.
Generally, an LPN performs the following:
1. Checking vital signs
2. Wound care
3. Wound dressing changes
4. Answer patient calls
5. Finger stick blood sugar testing.
6. Ostomy site care and maintenance.
7. Urinary catheter insertion and care
8. Specimen collection
9. Data collection
10. Monitoring for changes in condition
11. Date collection
12. Medication administration
13. Caring of patients with ventilators and tracheostomies
While there may be differences between licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, they also have their own similarities. Whether you are an LPN or an RN, it is essential to remember that despite the different labels, both nurses have to work together for the benefit of the patients and the facilities you are working in.
EDITOR’s NOTE: Opt for the best review course for NCLEX that will bring together both theoretical and practical aspects of nursing so that you not only pass the NCLEX but also excel in your professional life!