The licensed practical nurse (LPN) is an important part of the interdisciplinary team in the home healthcare setting. The LPN serves in a direct patient care role, interacting with and caring for the patient directly. If you are an LPN searching for a meaningful career, in-home care may be the right calling for you. If you have ever wondered about the difference than LPNs make in the life of a homebound patient, we would like to help clarify!
First and foremost, the home health nurse is an advocate for their patients. Not only does the LPN have direct contact with the patient, but is also a witness to the living conditions and sometimes family interactions. They are able to assess the quality of life and care that the patient is receiving when the nurse is not home. Additionally, patients confide in their nurses. It is the duty of the LPN to advocate for their patient’s wellbeing. It is okay to make recommendations for modification to the care plan or to request additional services based on your observations. The home health nurse makes suggestions about the way that treatments are going and how medications are working.
The majority of the LPN’s duties will be direct nursing care for the patient. This may range from simply taking vital signs and medication administration to the complex would care or assist with medical devices. The LPN has much more hands-on time caring for the patient than the registered nurse (RN) or doctors. The home health nurse is responsible for conducting thorough assessments and delivering technical nursing tasks to their patients as ordered. Because of the relative autonomy, LPNs who work in home health are among the best at applying technical nursing skills and assessments.
In every nursing role, one of the most important and ongoing responsibilities is education. The home health nurse must continually educate their patients about their care, medications, and safety. They must also educate families on how to help their family member; about their diet, physical limitations, and, safety concerns. Whether the patient has a new disease or medication, the home health nurse is responsible for providing the education necessary for the patient to continue to live independently while promoting the best outcome. Every good nurse knows that patient and family education is never complete!
The LPN who provides in-home care is only one person on a care team. Collaboration between all parties is essential to providing the best patient outcome possible. Communication from every person is critical to the successful care of the patient. As a direct care provider, the LPN functions as the eyes and ears of the doctors and assessing the care provided by the home health aide and therapists.
The licensed practical nurse is a very important member of the interdisciplinary care team for any in-home care patient. If you have been looking for a meaningful nursing career where you can make a positive difference in your patients’ lives, consider a career in in-home care. For more information or to get your career started today, contact us at Angels on Call Home Care.