A Day in the Life of an LPN
An LPN, or licensed practical nurse is someone who has the necessary LPN qualifications and that goes around taking care of patients in between the doctor’s visits. You could end up looking after someone in an old age home or being a private home nurse.
This is all dependent on you and where you will find employment as well as the level of LPN qualifications you have obtained. Although your will not be as skilled as an RN or registered nurse, you will still poses the skills to take care of those who will not be able to take care of themselves due to health issues.
A normal day in the life of an LPN includes doing checks of vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature as well as administering medication to those who cannot take their medication themselves. LPN qualifications give you the necessary skills to do all of these medical checks and perform this medical care. You could also be in charge of a lot of administration as well and basic wound care and treatment. You could also be working under a registered nurse as an assistant and take care of all the little things that this person does not have time for. Even though this seems like a degrading position to be in, it is actually one of the best if you are looking at making a career out of nursing. When you shadow your superior, you will learn a lot about the skills and daily tasks that will be expected of you should you wish to pursue your career further and become a registered nurse.
Even the best of LPN qualifications cannot prepare you for some of the trials you may go through. This is especially the case with a patient that may be uncooperative. No matter how good your intentions, some people just are too proud to admit they need help or to accept assistance from anyone. There are also hazards that you will need to consider such as working for very long hours, staying on your feet for your entire shift, lifting heavy patients in and out of bed, helping them to sit up and lie down. You may even be exposed to infectious diseases so if you are not a hundred percent healthy and you are susceptible to bugs, you may want to stock up on immune system boosters.
Where to Study for an LPN Qualification
LPN qualifications are available in many different formats. You could study LPN online, through the mail or by attending LPN classes.
Before you enroll, you need to make sure that you prescribe to the following entry requirements for LPN qualifications:
- A High School diploma
- Good grades in subjects such as biology, English and mathematics
- You need to be certified to do CPR
- Your vaccinations need to be up to date
- You need to be certified as a nurse’s assistant.
When all of these are in place, you can think about your LPN qualification a bit more.
The easiest and most affordable way of getting LPN qualifications are to do an online course. Each of these methods have the up and down sides so you would have to look at your own situation and weigh up your options as to how and where you will be studying and how much you can afford to pay.
You can register for an online course at the following online schools:
- Kaplan University online
- Liberty University online
- Capella University
- Indiana State University
- Grand Canyon University
When you are doing an online LPN course, you could expect to pay around $10 000 to $20 000 for the year and a half course.
You can register at the following schools for your LPN Qualifications:
- Fortis Institute (Alabama)
- Brown Mackie College (Arizona)
- American career college (California)
- Concorde Career college (Colorado)
- Keiser Career College (Florida)
- Carrington college (Idaho)
- ATA College (Kentucky)
- Everest institute (Michigan)
And these are just a few examples of where you can study to get your LPN qualification. You could end up paying as much as $25000 for your course.
You should also not forget to budget in the money that you will be spending on your learning material and then on your uniform as soon as you have qualified.
It might seem like a lot of money to be paying for the qualification, but when you look at the level of education that you will be receiving for the money you are paying, you will realize that it is all worth it in the end.
When you study through a government facility, you might be able to get your tuition fees down to about $4000, but you do have to remember that not everyone can find a place through these government schools.
What is Expected of an LPN?
When your patient is admitted to hospital, you will be in charge of gathering all of their information so that their treatment administered by the doctors or surgeons can take place sooner rather than later. The information you gather will be in the lines of their current state, their vital signs, the events that lead them to be in the hospital and their medical history. By the time you hand the patients over to the doctors, you will be able to give them all of the information they need to give this person life-saving care which makes you a pretty important person in the chain of healthcare.
Once your patient has found his way to a stable condition and is placed in a bed, your duty then would be to keep monitoring vital signs and pass on any information if their condition changes. You would also be in charge of helping the patient to maintain their personal hygiene. As a part of your LPN qualification, you will learn how to bathe your patients as well as clean and dress their wounds to promote healing and to make them as comfortable as possible during their stay at the hospital.
LPN qualifications are not for everyone and you need to prepare yourself mentally as well as physically for the task at hand. You will not always see the prettiest sights. Getting your LPN qualifications will help you to prepare for seeing people in their worse state and to do everything that you can to help them retain as much dignity as they deserve to have even if they are sick or disabled.
What you will need to do once you have your LPN qualifications is to remind yourself everyday that you are there to help people and that you are making a difference in their lives, even if it seems small. Getting health care means absolutely nothing if you are not clean and comfortable and if there is no one to hold your hand and making sure that you are alright during a very stressful time.
Some patients may need a lot more help than others, such as those who are paralyzed and you would need to be physically able to move these patients around so that they do not get bedsores. You would also need to check and change catheters and some will allow you to administer intravenous medication or fluids to patients.
What Salary Can an LPN Qualification Bring to you?
Before reading more about the salary that you will be earning as an LPN when you have qualified at the school of your course, here is a recap at the duties that you might have to perform as a qualified LPN:
- Taking vital signs
- Gathering patient health information
- Preparing and giving injections
- Helping patients to be clean and moving them around
- Collecting lab samples and performing lab tests
- Feeding and caring for infants
- Supervising nursing aides
- Counseling patients and their families of out of hospital care
Once you have learned how to perform these tasks then you will have to decide where it is that you will work. There are several types of institutions where you will find employment and your salary will depend on your level of training, experience and the department in which you are working.
Taking a look at an average salary, as different hospitals and institutions will pay you a different salary according to your level of competence and experience; you will find the following packages:
- Special care facilities – $42 590
- Home care for patients – $42 550
- Retirement homes – $42 270
- Hospital departments – $40 250
- Physician’s private practice – $37 480
Once again, you should bear in mind that these amounts are averages and can change from one institution to the next and from one year to the next. You will also find that the more specialized your services will be, the more you will be paid. When you are working in a private practice under the supervision of the physician, you won’t get paid quite as much as at a larger facility where you will be responsible for caring for patients with special needs and where you may perform some task unsupervised and you will be moving patients around and supervise those nursing aides that are stationed with you. It is not always easy dealing with these patients, especially in retirement homes and when caring for disabled patients. This is where your skills in working with people and having empathy with their situation.
When you have qualified and passed your exam, you only prove that you know what to do, but it is your strength of character that will help you to get through your daily tasks and the challenges that you will face each and every day.
Uniform on an LPN
When you are working in the industry of healthcare, your safety and the safety of your patients are in question constantly. You need to shield yourself from the body fluids of your patients and your patients need to be shielded from any other germs that you may bring in with you. For this reason, all healthcare workers, need to wear a standardized and approved uniform. Your uniform will also identify you for your station and you will not be mistaken for a doctor or a nurse’s aide when you are wearing your specialized uniform. Your uniform will be either provided by your employer or you will have to buy it for yourself. The department of health will be able to give you a list of the suppliers of this uniform that have been approved.
With your uniform you will need special shoes. The shoes you get for work, will need to be non-slip. The better the grip on your shoes, the better they will serve you. Hospital floors are constantly cleaned and waxed so they can be really slippery. For this reason, if your shoes don’t have super grip, you might slip and get injured. Your shoes also will need to be closed off at the front completely. This is to avoid any blood or other body fluids from seeping into your socks and coming into contact with the skin on your feet. Closed shoes will also shield your feet from getting injured in case something is dropped. If your shoes are open at the back, you will need to have a bracing strap going around the back of your ankles to avoid them from coming off while you are walking or running.
When you are taking care of yourself, you can take care of your patients so much better. For this reason, you have to consider your health and safety at all times in everything you do. You should make sure that all of your vaccinations are up to date and have extra ones as they are allowed just to make sure that you are not infected by the infectious diseases you are constantly exposed to.
Making tomorrow a better place is the responsibility of each and every individual in society. When we each do our own small part, we can help each other towards a more comfortable life with dignity.