There are two types of nurses: LPN=Licensed Practical/Licensed Vocational Nurse (2 year degree) and a RN= Registered Nurse (4 year degree)
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), care for people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses.
LPNs provide basic bedside care. Many LPNs measure and record patients’ vital signs such as height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. They also prepare and give injections and enemas, monitor catheters, dress wounds, and give alcohol rubs and massages. To help keep patients comfortable, they assist with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene, moving in bed, standing, and walking. They might also feed patients who need help eating. Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides.
As part of their work, LPNs collect samples for testing, perform routine laboratory tests, and record food and fluid intake and output. They clean and monitor medical equipment. LPNs also monitor their patients and report adverse reactions to medications or treatments. LPNs gather information from patients, including their health history and how they are currently feeling. They may use this information to complete insurance forms, pre-authorizations, and referrals, and they share information with registered nurses and doctors to help determine the best course of care for a patient.
Registered nurses (RNs), are higher in demand and make better wages than LPN's regardless of specialty or work setting, they treat patients, educate patients and the public about various medical conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients’ family members. RNs record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation. LPN's/CMA's cannot adminster medications or drugs.
RNs teach patients and their families how to manage their illness or injury, explaining post-treatment home care needs; diet, nutrition, and exercise programs; and self-administration of medication and physical therapy. Some RNs work to promote general health by educating the public on warning signs and symptoms of disease. RNs also might run general health screening or immunization clinics, blood drives, and public seminars on various conditions.
When caring for patients, RNs establish a plan of care or contribute to an existing plan. Plans may include numerous activities, such as administering medication, including careful checking of dosages and avoiding interactions; starting, maintaining, and discontinuing intravenous (IV) lines for fluid, medication, blood, and blood products; administering therapies and treatments; observing the patient and recording those observations; and consulting with physicians and other health care clinicians. Some RNs provide direction to licensed practical nurses and nursing aids regarding patient care. RNs with advanced educational preparation and training may perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and may have prescriptive authority.
RNs can specialize in one or more areas of patient care. There generally are four ways to specialize. RNs can choose a particular work setting or type of treatment, such as perioperative nurses, who work in operating rooms and assist surgeons. RNs also may choose to specialize in specific health conditions, as do diabetes management nurses, who assist patients to manage diabetes. Other RNs specialize in working with one or more organs or body system types, such as dermatology nurses, who work with patients who have skin disorders. RNs also can choose to work with a well-defined population, such as geriatric nurses, who work with the elderly. Some RNs may combine specialties. For example, pediatric oncology nurses deal with children and adolescents who have cancer.
The Certified Medical Assistant is a multi-skilled health professional (MSHP) who works interdependently with other health care professionals to provide quality health care to
the patient. The Medical Assistant is educated and trained to perform both administrative and clinical skills in the medical care environment. The Medical Assistant is directly responsible to the physician-employer who hires him/her or any other physician-appointed supervisor in the facility. With experience, the Medical Assistant may be promoted within departments or to supervisory levels in administrative and
clinical positions when knowledge and skills have been demonstrated :
1. Front desk reception.
2. Answering phones and scheduling appointments.
3. Greet patients, completion of registration forms, and give instructions.
4. Filing and maintaining medical records.
5. Filing and maintaining financial records.
6. Preparing and typing correspondence.
7. Processing, coding, and completing insurance claim forms.
8. Processing mail.
9. Purchasing and maintaining supplies and equipment.
10. Performing computer skills in patient billing, transcription, scheduling,
insurance claims, accounts receivable, and data base entry.
11. Performing accounting, billing, and banking procedures.
12. Arranging for hospital admissions and outside referrals for the physician.
13. Calling prescriptions to the pharmacy for the physician.
14. Communication skills using appropriate medical terminology.
15. Following appropriate legal and ethical professional conduct.
1. Measuring and recording vital signs.
2. Recording patient interview, history and chief complaint.
3. Providing patient education with regards to office policies, medications,
management of diseased, home treatments and special diets.
4. Preparing patients for examinations and performing routine screening tests.
5. Assisting the physician with exams and minor office surgery.
6. Phlebotomy and collection of other lab specimens.
7. Performing basic lab tests.
8. Performing EKGs.
9. Assisting with X-ray and Physical Therapy procedures.
10. Preparing and administering medications with physician’s authorizations.
11. Change dressings, applying bandages, removing sutures and other first aid
12. Using CPR skills when required.
13. Maintaining supplies, equipment, stocking, and sterilizing instruments.
14. Disposing of biohazard waste according to OSHA standards.
15. Practicing OSHA safety standards.
16. Performing accurate, legal, and ethical documentation at all times.