What Does a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Do? - Video

A Licensed Practical Nurse provides medical care for patients who may be sick or injured. They work under the direct supervision of a physician or registered nurse. LPNs may work in clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities. In some states, they may be called a licensed vocational nurse or LVN.

Job Description

A Licensed Practical Nurse helps to provide medical care for patients who are injured, sick or incapacitated. They work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or physician. The care they provide may include taking vital signs, preparing IVs or injections, changing bandages and assisting with bathing and personal hygiene. LPNs will also help collect lab samples for testing or monitor a patient's fluid intake and output. It is the responsibility of these medical professionals to also gather information from their patients to help physicians diagnose, monitor and treat conditions. This information may include medical histories, allergies or responses to prior treatments. LPNs may often maintain medical records, make appointments and even supervise nurse aides and assistants.

Work Setting

The majority of Licensed Practical Nurses work in clinics, nursing homes or hospitals. They work directly with other physicians and registered nurses to aid in patient care. They also work with family members of patients to explain procedures or follow-up care direction. These nurses may even help physicians deliver infants and provide follow-up care and monitoring. Hospitals will often provide the most variety for an LPN as there are options to work in pediatrics, orthopedics, labor and delivery or emergency medicine.

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