dcsimg

A Day in the Life of an LPN

Amy (not her real name) is a licensed practical nurse in California. She got her LPN five years ago. Her first job was in an extended care facility (nursing home), the graveyard shift in the middle of the night. Amy did well working at the nursing home. Within a couple of years she was the supervisor of the aides on the graveyard shift. She had 70 patients under her care. It was hard work, which she didn't mind.

But after four years at the nursing home, Amy felt the need for a change. She wanted to work days so she could have a more normal social life. She applied for a job with an employment agency that places practical nurses into homes where care is needed. This agency pays almost as much money as her night supervisor job did. She is now working in the home of an elderly couple. The husband, who is 84, is in pretty good shape and doesn't need nursing care. The wife, who is 80, has advanced Alzheimer's disease. She has already lost essentially all her short-term memory, so she never remembers Amy from one day to the next. Amy doesn't mind, because, although she is confused, Mrs. Johnson (not her real name) is pretty happy and easy to take care of.

The biggest challenge for Amy is to try and keep Mrs. Johnson relatively quiet, and make sure she takes her medications, as well as trying to get her to eat.

Amy begins her day talking to Mr. Johnson. Of course they have to be in the same room as Mrs. Johnson, who will wander away and get into trouble if they take their eyes off of her. Usually Mr. Johnson says, "I think she's a little better today." Amy knows he is just saying what he wishes were true. Then he will tell her if Mrs. Johnson ate any breakfast. Since Mr. Johnson is his wife's main caretaker, his only time for himself is when Amy is taking care of her. He uses this time to do errands and to get an emotional break.

The biggest challenge for Amy is to try and keep Mrs. Johnson relatively quiet, and make sure she takes her medications, as well as trying to get her to eat. She has high blood pressure as well as osteoporosis, thin bones. She needs to take two pills a day, plus a once-a-week medicine for her thin bones. She also has to take calcium and vitamin D to strengthen her bones. She has fallen and broken her hip in the past. That was before Amy's time. The surgery she had, and time in the hospital, was followed by a tremendous worsening of her memory, which is why Amy is there now.

Amy gives Mrs. Johnson her medicines in the morning after breakfast. Breakfast is a challenge. Mrs. Johnson does not want to eat. She has lost quite a bit of weight. Amy will give her Ensure to drink during the day as much as she can. Some days are better than others.

Amy has found a number of ways to keep Mrs. Johnson quiet and happy. She does like watching television, cartoons actually, although she won't hold still for an entire 30 minutes. Amy turns on the television whenever they are in the living room, and puts on the Cartoon Network. Mrs. Johnson also likes having her hair brushed and braided. Amy does that every morning. Sometimes she can read children's books to Mrs. Johnson, sometimes not.

One of the hardest things for Amy is to try and keep Mrs. Johnson clean. Sometimes she can get her to sit in the shower on a special chair, and she can use the hand nozzle to gently spray her. Amy uses a little liquid soap that Mrs. Johnson likes because it smells like lavender. Then Amy sprays the soap off, dries her and puts her in clean clothes. Some days, she can't get Mrs. Johnson anywhere near the shower.

By the end of the eight-hour day, Amy is ready to go home. Mr. Johnson takes over his wife's care. Amy knows that this can't go on forever, but for now she is happy to help him. That is why she trained as an LPN.

Schools offering LPN Programs

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            MSN - Informatics (Online)
            • At West Coast University, your education can pave the way to your healthcare career
            • With West Coast University, you can choose to study healthcare online or any one of the 6 campuses located in California, Texas or Florida
            • West Coast University has developed programs with learning options to work around the demands of your life
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Practical Nursing-(AOS) [LPN]
            Platt College Oklahoma , Oklahoma City
            • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
            • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
            M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge)
            • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
            • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
            • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
            • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
            • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Vocational Nursing
            • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
            • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Diploma in Practical Nurse
            Southeastern College , West Palm Beach
            • Owns a public spa where students can get real-world experience.
            • Provides scholarship opportunities and financial aid to students who qualify.
            • Offers many start dates throughout the year, with part-time and full-time attendance options.
            • Has 3 main campuses in Greenacres and Jacksonville, Florida, with 4 branch campuses in Miami Lakes, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid