Being a Nurse - Its Benefits and an Overview of What They Do

The current financial crisis makes it difficult to survive for a lot of us. For the most part, we find ourselves overwhelmed by one financial problem after the other. As such, we couldn't help but ask ourselves what kind of career will give us a stable source of income and a better life for us or our families?

Well, you might be surprised that the answer to that question is more obvious that you think: being a nurse. At this time, nurses are one the most in-demand workers in the health industry. There are approximately 2.4 million job openings for nurses right now, and to fill this need, hospitals and the like are offering competitive salary, benefits, and compensation package.

There are a lot of opportunities for personal growth and development in nursing. Specialization in specific nursing fields is an alternative which nurses can take advantage of not just in hospitals, but even in medical clinics, outpatient centres, nursing care facilities, and geriatric facilities.

With a wide array of work places that offer career development, nurses would practically never run out jobs. Also, this kind of advantage makes nurses competent enough to work even in other parts of the globe.

Aside from the popularity of nurses nowadays, nursing is one of the very few careers which will never go passé. Like doctors, there will always be a need for nurses. Also, there are several types of job opportunities in the field of nursing. In the Unites States alone, there is currently a need for approximately 100,000 nurses, and experts say that this figure may triple over the years. With incentives like these, who could say no to such a promising career?

Registered Nurse (RN) - Background of their Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a registered nurse can change from every state and institution. Laws on a RN's scope of practice vary in each state. Different institutions also have varying guidelines for the scope of practice of the nurses and medical professionals they handle. At times, these guidelines are even more restrictive than that of state laws.

To help an RN determine whether something is within the scope of their profession, some states have devised the following questions which RN's can ask themselves:

1. Is it allowed by the nurse practice act of the state you are working in?

2) Is the skill something you learned in your basic nursing education or in any additional training program you've attended, including clinical training?

3) Can you find the procedure in the policy manual of the institution you are working for?

4) Is the task in conformity to the "Prudent and Reasonable" standard for nursing?

If after asking these questions a nurse is still unsure whether a task is included in their scope of practice, he or she can get clarification from their state nursing board.

Evaluating a person's health and devising an appropriate health plan is one of main duties of an RN. Normally, RN's coordinate with other health care professionals in giving individuals under their supervision suitable health care and education.

However, as mentioned before, the regulations in each state differ. As such, it is wise to always consult the nursing laws in the state where a nurse is working to verify if a particular task is within a RN's scope of practice. A RN should also check the policy and guidelines of the institution they are working for, to ensure that what they are doing is within the areas of responsibility allowed by that institution.

LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) - Playing an Important Role in the Healthcare Industry

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse in the state of Texas and California, assists RNs and give patients a more personal level of attention.

Although LPN's are normally supervised by physicians and RNs, their responsibilities increase as their gain more knowledge and experience.

Some LPNs already take on tasks such as taking vital signs, monitoring in and out volumes, turning patients to avoid bedsores, treating and/or dressing wounds, providing enemas and more.

LPNs also take care of simple duties like getting measurements (height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, etc.), giving alcohol rubs, assisting patients take care of their personal hygiene, and most of all, offering the patients a friendly face and a caring heart as they walk the road to recovery.

LPNs are the ones responsible for the day to day care of patients. They give patients a more intimate and hands on attention, which RNs are no longer able to provide due to their busy schedule.

In some states, LPNs are allowed to administer prescribed medicines and starting IVs. On other states however, such tasks are not part of their responsibilities. LPNs also need to spend time with the family of the patient and teach them how to take care of their loved one, especially once they continue their recuperation at home. The LPNs provide the patient's family with all the information they need to take care of the patient once they've been discharged.

Due to the variations of state regulations, it is hard to give a definite job description for a LPN. Some states even allow LPNs to assist with the delivery, care, and feeding of a newborn.

For the most part, the work of LPNs covers various fields of medicine and healthcare. As such, there are also LPNs who work in nursing homes, medical offices, or private homes.

Healthcare facilities like nursing homes certainly benefit from the services of LPNs, as they are able to asses residents, supervise nursing aides, and develop basic healthcare plans. In a doctor's clinic, a LPN takes care of setting appointments, filing medical records, and other administrative functions.

LPNs are very important to the smooth flow of the health care profession. RNs and NPs will definitely have a harder time with their jobs without LPNs.

Although the general scope of practice of LPNs is apparent, the extent of what they can perform will vary depending on their place of work.

As you think of starting a career in nursing, it is important to note that although doctors and administrators may be on top of the list, nurses and LPNs are definitely the heart and soul of the healthcare industry.

For More Information See: How to start a nursing home, visit startanursinghome.com.

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