LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE (LPN)
There are four basic categories of LPN duties—clerical, administrative, clinical, and specialist. Depending upon the medical practice, the same LPN may do one of these categories, or all four of them.
The Practice Coordinator for business-related items, and to the medical practice physician(s) for clinically-related items.
Clinical LPN Duties
Clinical LPN job duties involve working with patients in a clinical context, assisting physicians during procedures, and performing light medical procedures. Because of the responsibilities that come with medical practice, the clinical medical assistant duties are regulated differently from state to state. LPNs are always required to be supervised by a physician.
The basic duties of LPNs include:
? Taking patient vital signs; recording in the patient’s medical record
? Taking medical histories; recording in the patient’s medical record
? Preparing patients for medical tests and examinations
? Assisting practitioners during examinations
? Explaining medical procedures to patients
? Sterilizing medical instruments
? Removing sutures
? Administering topical, oral, or intramuscular medications
? Drawing blood (phlebotomy)
? Wound care
Administrative LPN Duties
Administrative LPN duties are less directly involved with patients, and more involved with the general running of the medical practice. Administrative LPNs work with patients in the context of scheduling appointments and handling billing functions.
Some administrative LPN duties might include:
? Maintaining the confidentiality of patient information
? Managing inventory and ordering supplies
? Scheduling patient medical procedures
? Following up on patient visits
? Updating patient records
? Obtaining pre-authorizations/precertifications
? Checking the patient portal and responding to patients
? Ordering lab tests and imaging studies
? Scheduling patient appointments
Clerical LPN Duties
Clerical LPNs perform many of the same duties as administrative LPNs, but with less emphasis on medical records and patient information. Clerical LPN duties focus more on the business aspects of running a medical practice. They are similar to administrative assistants in typical office settings, managing the day-to-day office activities that keep an office running smoothly.
Some clerical LPN duties might include:
? Answering phones
? Greeting patients
? Sorting mail
? Handling correspondence
? Creating documents
? Performing computer data entry
Specialist Office LPN Duties
The job duties of a specialist LPN are somewhat different from those of general LPNs. These LPNs work in a specialist clinic, such as an orthopedic practice, a surgery practice, a hematology/oncology practice, or a cardiology practice. A specialist LPN has in-depth knowledge of a particular medical field, and has job responsibilities that reflect their specialization.
Because LPN duties are so varied, a very flexible skill set is needed to perform them well. These skills and personality traits are recommended:
? Ability to multi-task various job duties
? Ability to handle different personalities and personal situations—both patient and coworkers
? Ability to understand the theories, reasons, and technical aspects of medicine
? A formal education from an accredited LPN; licensure required