Job Title: Licensed Vocational Nurse
Education: Riverside Community College Vocational nurse license
Previous Experience: I worked at a variety of hospitals on-call for nursing registries for three years after being licensed. Then, I worked in several areas including orthopedics, ICU, Critical Burn unit, Medical-Surgical unit, and pediatrics for five years in one hospital. Afterwards, I worked 10 years in ICU and transferred to orthopedics for 11 years before retiring. After 2 years I went back to work full-time in a long-term nursing facility. I have been working at my present job six years.
Job Tasks: I work in a long-term care facility. My company provides care for elderly and disabled clients. Our clients are mentally or physically incapable of caring for themselves. Since we have a small rehabilitation unit, we receive clients with short term medical or surgical problems. Although we are not a wound care center specifically, many of our clients are admitted with slow healing, trauma or surgically induced wounds. The company provides a variety of services including medical treatments, assistance with the activities of daily living, social services and entertainment. We provide a home-like atmosphere to help the clients adjust to new surroundings that, especially in the case of the elderly clients, may be their permanent home.
My responsibilities include dispensing medications which have been ordered, wound-care, inspecting meal trays for proper diets and keeping the client's doctor informed of progression or regression of condition. For instance, if the laboratory report shows an infection is cleared, it is my responsibility to inform the doctor in order for him to discontinue any antibiotics the client may be using. Likewise, if the client's condition becomes worse, I need to report this information to the doctor. I am responsible for assessment of client, being aware of physical mental or emotional changes in client, informing my supervisor of problems and acting on my findings as quickly as possible.
A typical day for me will be as followed: arrive at my station at 7:00am; verify Certified Nurse's Aide (CNA) staffing and make assignments; count narcotics with off-going nurse and receive pertinent report of activities of the night-shift; check calendar for appointments; make physical rounds in order to check the condition and immediate needs of the client; give report and instructions to CNAs; prepare my list of chores and gather paperwork for any client scheduled for an appointment.
By now it is approximately 9;00am, and I will start my morning medication pass. Occasionally, I will be interrupted by an incident such as a client falling. I will assess the client, perform any emergency care, with the aid of the CNA an other co-workers, notify the doctor and specified family member with the power of attorney (POA). If the client is injured seriously, as determined by the doctor, I will prepare the documents needed to transfer the client to an acute hospital emergency room, notify the person with the POA and file an incident report. Then, I will complete my medication pass.
At noon, I will pass more medications and begin charting the condition and pertinent activities of the client's day, prepare a report for the on-coming nurse, endorse the narcotics count with her. At the end of the shift I also make physical rounds with the on-coming nurse. There is always a need to to comfort or reassure a client during the shift. This usually ends my day.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: For me, the best part of the job is working with people, bonding with the clients and frequently learning pieces of history from someone who actually lived it. Nursing has a special way of instilling appreciation for others and yourself.
The worst part of the job is adjusting to the eminence of death and painful diseases. Feelings of inadequacy frequently comes to the new nurse. The new nurse will often wonder "could I have done something more?" but as he or she gathers experience, the knowledge will come to them that some things are out of their control.
1. A career as a vocational nurse is a good choice. If time is not a problem, the 12 extra months to become a Registered Nurse (RN) is a good investment.
2, Seize opportunities for experiences to enhance your career.
3. Don't be afraid to accept tasks you feel are complicated. You will learn by trying new experiences.
Additional Thoughts: The satisfaction of improving the quality of someone's life is rewarding. The experience and information you gather, can be a tool to improve the living conditions of the nation. Nursing is not an isolated career. It enhances the field of public health, science and research and many other areas dedicated to the health and welfare of our nation. The salary is good and the profession is stable.
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