LVN Nursing Skills
Being an LVN means needing skills to get the job done. Many individuals depend on you, and being on the front line means you'll be spending more time with your patients than many other members of the healthcare team, like doctors and registered nurses. This is where you can shine, helping the lives of those less fortunate when they are sick and ill. Besides a compassionate nature, you'll also need to be skilled at bedside care and able to follow detailed instructions to the letter. There are a wide range of jobs, depending on your environs, and so your skills will vary according to that most of all. In some states, LVNs are tasked with more responsibility than others. Having said that, the standard remains the same across all employment.
Vital signs, like pulse or heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, and in some cases blood oxygen are the core of any patient's condition. As an LVN, you'll be expected to be able to measure these values and keep accurate records of their fluctuations. While modern medicine has made a lot of this easier (for example, manual gauge blood pressure cuffs have been replaced by digital meters in many hospitals), you need to have a strong background in these methods for those times when technology fails.
Administration of medication and prescription drugs is also an important skill for LVNs. Besides, obviously, a clean record and no drug history, nurses have to be able to distinguish between medications and apply them correctly, whether it be a simple as making sure a patient swallows her pill to expertly pulling off an intramuscular injection. Starting IVs are also something that you will learn and be expected to handle with regularity. Get used to needles, because you'll be seeing a lot of them if you're in a hospital setting. Taking care of wounds, like bandaging, cleaning, and dressing is another key element of an LVN's responsibility.
In an outpatient setting, a nurse may have less of a duty to start intravenous drips, or dress wounds, but be expected to perform more clerical duties, such as filing, typing, and maintaining proper patient records. Really, the responsibilities of an LVN vary so widely that you can find a job that fits just about anyone.