Nursing Spotlight: What Do LPNs Do?

If you’re thinking about a career as an LPN, you may be wondering what LPN duties are. Here is a list of 9 of the most common LPN duties and a brief explanation of each, to show you what you’ll be doing as an LPN.

1. Vital signs: LPNs take vital signs and enter them into the patient’s chart, to provide a complete medical record and help the doctor with diagnosis.

2. First aid: In the case of minor injuries, LPN duties include cleaning and dressing minor injuries, applying first aid. Like other duties, this means working closely with patients. LPNs are great at soothing and helping patients, and applying first aid is one of the duties LPNs are very good at and which allows them to care for patients.

3. Injections: In any healthcare facility, there are always injections—flu shots, pain medication, immunizations, steroids. One of an LPN duties is to give these injections to patients and ease whatever the problem was that caused the need for the injection in the first place.

4. Monitor patients in serious condition: If a patient is on a saline or glucose drip or receiving blood, or on a catheter or oxygen supply, an LPN will monitor the patient to make sure everything is going as it should. This is one of the most important LPN duties.

5. Monitor inpatients: When a patient is in the healthcare facility, whether it be a hospital or otherwise, LPNs check on the patient regularly, take care to make sure the patient has adequate water, care for the patient’s hygiene, and generally provide oversight of the patient’s personal care.

6. Therapeutic massage: If a patient gets, say, a leg cramp, one of the LPN duties is to massage the limb to provide relief. This is particularly true in an inpatient setting where lying in bed can create cramps.

7. Prepare patients for surgery: When patients are scheduled for surgery, LPN duties include helping the patient dress properly for surgery and then monitoring the patient after surgery.

8. Prepare patients for tests: When a physician orders tests, LPNs help prepare the patients for tests, and when the test results return, they make sure the reports get to the doctor for analysis.

9. Take samples: Just like tests, LPN duties include getting samples from patients and getting them to the lab.

As you can see, LPNs have many important duties without which a healthcare facility could not operate.