A hospice LPN plays a role of comforter, counselor and nurse to dying patients. Having to work every day with a dying person requires a special kind of temperament; and hospice LPNs have caring, strong and dedicated natures. Compassionate and kind, the licensed practical nurse involves the entire family and is concerned for their wellbeing and involves them in the treatment plans of their loved one who is spending their final days in a hospice. Most hospice patients have cancer, but there are many others – children and adults alike – who suffer from other illnesses like heart disease, strokes, AIDS and many others. The medications and treatments that the hospice nurse administers are not particularly geared towards the recovery of the terminally ill patient; although there is always hope, but more towards making the remaining days left for the patient as comfortable as possible.
There Is An Accepted Standard Of Practice In A Hospice
In a hospice everything is done for the patient, aiming at improving the quality of life of the patient in a hospice setting or at home. Managing symptoms is part of hospice, but contrary to what many people believe, so is therapy if there is gain to be made. If someone has had a stroke for instance, and the patient still has mental function and physical ability, the hospice must provide occupational therapy if it will increase the quality of life for the stroke patient. Physical therapy services which include things like occupational therapy or speech services must be available, and when these special services are provided, they must be offered in a manner which is consistent with accepted standards of practice.
Not All Patients Receive Additional Treatments
LPNs have to be sensitive to needs of terminally ill patients and will need to assess whether a patient can actually benefit from therapy. They will also discuss the treatment with the physician. For instance if a patient is too weak and is getting close to passing on, doing certain therapies on them could be painful and uncomfortable to the patient; whereas if a patient is in remission, these additional treatments will be considered.
It is not surprising that an emotional bond is often formed between the nurse, the patient and the family. Of course the licensed practical nurse is involved with CEU’s, known as Continuing Education Unit. This is necessary for anyone who works in a licensed profession like nursing. The reason for this continued education is for the licensed nurse to maintain their license. This ensures that the public are always at the receiving end of medical treatment from licensed professionals who have had the correct training and who are competent to work in the industry.
Where Can Hospice LPNs Work?
They work in hospitals, private homes, residential care facilities, nursing facilities as well as other hospice care environments. They most work a 40-hour week. Terminally ill patients require constant round the clock care, and for this reason, LPNs are required to put in night shifts, weekends as well as public holidays. They have to stand for long periods of time and will be required to assist patients to move in and out of bed.
Recognized CEU’s Ensure Ongoing Competence
The LPN has to participate in a recognized continuing education program, with qualified instruction. The certificate received will provide evidence of completion of continuing education requirements which have been mandated by qualified certification bodies. These records will also provide employers with information on training around the occupation of nursing.
Nurse.com for instance offer CEU’s for LPNs which are accredited and been providing courses for decades. LPNs can select from audio, video, text, audio, webinar, live, as well as free CE courses. Nurses have access to more than 600 titles and also instant CE certificates once the courses are complete. LPNs can receive their certificates by email or fax.
The LPN is entitled to perform almost all nursing procedures, but they are not authorized to supervise other nurses with lesser training. Only registered nurses or licensed practical nurses may give medications to patients. For your loved one to receive the ultimate medical care, LPNs always take part in CEU’s so that they can provide the very best care for any medical situation. Hospice LPNs are required to maintain their professional competence, and to follow the Code of Ethics for all nurses. This is the reason why they enroll in programs of continuing education. The LPN has to relay information to the physician. Information on the vital signs as well as other important medical information is relayed to the physician so that they can make appropriate medical orders for the patient.
Courses Must Always Be Certified To Be Recognized
The courses are all relevant topics to nursing and are created by certified and degreed medical professionals and other healthcare professionals founded on evidence based information. Our authors write courses on topics relevant to your career. You will find courses on wound care, coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorders, amongst others. Course content is founded on evidence-based information and undergoes a comprehensive editorial review process. Not only that course records are retained for a number of years so that they can be verified when necessary and LPNs can also request electronic copies of certificates that have gone missing or becomes damaged over the years.
Hospice nurses perform many different nursing duties. Some of these will include:
- assessing and observing the patient
- they administer medications
- they will record the symptoms of the patient
- they work closely with physicians
Hospice care is known as palliative medical care which is care aimed at reduce pain and making the patient comfortable as opposed to treatment for a cure. Terminally ill patients have the right to spend their last days in comfort and hospice care provides professional medical care as well as supportive care.
Training For Hospice LPN
The hospice LPN must be registered as well as being certified by a state health department as a hospice worker. Working as a hospice nurse will require completion of a year-long training program and certification. Training programs are available through colleges, universities and technical schools, and community colleges as well as hospitals. To join the training program, a high school degree will be required.
After successfully completing the practical nursing training program, the licensed practical nurse must take the National Council Licensure Examination, known as NCLEX-PN in order to actually get a license as an LPN. If you want to know more about the training and license, each state has their own Board of Nursing, and they will supply you will all the information you need. The nurse’s license gives the nurse authority to perform professional assessments of patients and many other medical tasks.
Hospice LPNs often look at advancing their careers by becoming charge nurses. This gives them the responsibility of overseeing the work of the other LPNs as well as nursing assistants. If they want to they can also become certified in specialties. To become credentialed, CEU’s and on-the-job training is required to complete the specific certification. The hospice LPN can also become a registered nurse with LPN-to-RN training programs.
Rules And Regulations Ensure Quality Medical Care
The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations states that Nursing services must be directed and staffed to assure that the nursing needs of patients are met, and that services must be provided in accordance with recognized standards of practice. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations states that “drugs and biologicals are administered only by the following individuals: (1) A licensed nurse or physician, (2) An employee who has completed a State-approved training program in medication administration, (3) The patient if his or her attending physician has approved. (4) Any other individual in accordance with applicable State and local laws. The persons, and each drug and biological they are authorized to administer, must be specified in the patient’s plan of care.”
Many LPNs want to have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, and even though this is not a pre-requisite to working in a hospice, many LPNs realize that having this degree opens far more nursing opportunities. Remember that what CEU’s you do, all states require LPNs to graduate from an accredited nursing school and successfully pass a national licensing examination.
There are many hospices providing a wonderful service to terminally ill patients, and these hospices are staffed by exceptional hospice staff who serve the public in a caring and dedicated fashion. Licensed practical nurses working in hospices will have received all the appropriate training and certification to ensure that ignorance, carelessness and errors in judgment are not the order of the day. The health care industry is forever evolving and licensed practical nurses undergo CEU’s to ensure that that quality of services and standard are constantly maintained at high levels. Health care is a special calling for LPNs where the public is served from staff who has had the best training there is.