A Day in the Life of an LPN

Posted by nicole on Dec 27, 2016

Are you interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse and looking to learn more about how the typical day as an LPN works? As a licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you will be in charge of providing care to patients as directed by registered nurses and the doctors. If you wish to learn more about the typical day in the shoes of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), then you won't want to miss the great information given in this blog!
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LPNs usually work in hospitals and clinics where their responsibilities are assigned by the staff nurses. Also, their work will typically entail eight to twelve-hour shifts.

Your duties will include several types of work ranging from:


  1. Washing, shaving, and sterilizing the patient's operative areas in preparation for their surgery.
  2. Assisting during surgery by setting up equipment, laying out instruments, and passing them out to the surgeons as needed.
  3. Sterilizing the operating room and instruments before a surgery session.
  4. Providing general nursing services to patients at the hospital.
  5. Checking the patient's vital signs, applying sterile dressing, preventing infected areas from spreading or causing infection in other patients, and monitoring nutritional intake.
  6. Administering medicine and recording its effects on the patient, including possible negative side effects.
  7. Providing pre and post-operative care to the patient in terms of counseling.

Some of the work that you will encounter on a typical day within a shift as a licensed practical nurse includes:

Beginning a Shift and the Basics

You will consult with the nurse who is currently on duty to discuss the patient's status and the kind of medication that will need to be administered that day. This consultation will include going over the the doctor's report, examining the treatment sheets, looking over the patient's history records, and generally making sure you have a clear understanding of what stage of treatment the patient is currently in. You will also receive instructions on any samples that need to be collected as well as lab tests that need to be run. You may also have to deliver specimen samples to the lab at some point during the day.     

Meeting with Patients

The patient who is being prepared for some kind of treatment such as surgery may need assistance in having a bath and checking their vital signs. You may have to make a full record of the patient's state of well-being, monitor catheters, dress wounds and feed them according to the prepared meal plan. Other duties include bedside responsibilities and any other needed care.

Monitoring Response to Medication and Treatment

Every stage of the patient's experience while undergoing treatment will be documented by you. In addition, close attention must be kept of the patient's reaction to medication. The documentation process will involve writing down everything that you observe about the patient's condition and making regular, timely reports to the nurse on duty. Strong communication skills and the ability to keep accurate track of the data is essential for you to perform your job well.  

Medication Administration

In order to administer oral medication and injections to patients, you must possess a licensed practical nursing degree and work under the direction of a registered nurse or physician. You will have to wait to receive a formal order to provide the medication at a certain dosage, and you will also be in charge of sanitizing and preparing the medical instruments. This is in addition to keeping track of the time for administering the drug to the patient.

Administrative Task Management

As an LPN, you will also be assigned several administrative tasks to work on during your downtime. Some of these tasks will include the collection of information for insurance paperwork, the preparation of reports about the patients, and organizing their files. While such tasks are not a strict part of your direct duties, you may be assigned them by the administrative assistants at the end of your shift.Schedule a Campus Tour at Athena Career Academy. We are the leading nursing school located in Toledo, Ohio.

Topics: LPN