Do you have a great bedside manner? Are you compassionate and sensitive and enjoy working with ailing people to help them feel better? If so, then a career as a vocational nurse will likely be a great professional choice for you!
In your career as a licensed vocational nurse you should expect to be responsible for taking care of your patients, regardless of what his or her needs are. For instance, you may have to help a patient bathe himself, dress himself, or help him take care of other personal needs. You will likely help your patients with their medication, as well as any wounds that need medical attention. It is common for patients that you will be taking care of to have a serious illness or injury that incapacitates him or her. In addition, you may have patients who need extra care because they are dealing with mental challenges, such as Alzheimer’s.
Depending upon the facility you work in, you should expect to be responsible for educating your patients regarding their medical condition. Generally speaking, your patients will not be under your constant care on a long-term basis, so you will want to ensure that he or she can take care of any medically necessary requirements after leaving your facility. In this career path, it will be important that you are accurate and pay attention to detail. It will be your responsibility to record any information that is deemed pertinent into the patient’s medical file. Keep in mind, a vocational nurse will learn many of the job responsibilities while on-the-job. Therefore, you will receive pertinent training and will most likely learn your skills under the supervision of a fellow nurse.
In order to practice this exciting profession, you will need to earn a passing score on the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse). The State Board of Nursing will administer this test to prospective vocational nurses in the state you reside in. While some health care facilities will allow you to work behind the scenes as you work to obtain your license, you will not be able to truly interact with patients until you have completed your licensing requirements. If you are interested in being capable of performing additional tasks, there are other areas you can pursue certification in. For example, you can become certified to give intravenous infusions, to insert intravenous lines into your patients, to provide respiratory treatments, or to take blood.