What It Takes to Be a Practical Nurse

Practical nurses are everyday heroes who make a true difference

Are you one of those people who feels good when you help others? Do you look for ways to make other people’s lives better? Do you jump in when you see someone in need? If so, you may be the perfect type of person for a career in nursing and allied health.

This article looks at some of the traits and characteristics that are helpful for becoming a Practical Nurse. Take a few moments and see if your personality matches up!

Trait #1: Compassion
One of the top traits for practical nurses is compassion. Compassion means that you are concerned for how others are doing and feel sympathy for their suffering. To be an effective and caring practical nurse, it’s important that you are naturally compassionate toward your patients.

Trait #2: Detail oriented
Practical nurses are responsible for serving many patients or nursing home residents throughout the course of each shift. It’s important that you are a detail-oriented person. You will need to record patients’ vital signs accurately, update patients’ records carefully, keep note of when patients take medications, and stay on top of all the daily needs of your patients.

Trait #3: A “people” person
Being a practical nurse is not a job where you sit behind a desk or hide behind an email account. You need to be a “people person” because you will be interacting with patients every day. You also need to feel comfortable working with a whole healthcare team, which could include other LPNs, head nurses, physicians, and other allied health professionals.

Trait #4: Patience
As an LPN, you will work with patients who are sick, injured, disabled, or suffering from cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s. Many of your patients may be slow at responding to you or unable to do things for themselves. In addition, their health is unpredictable, and you may have to change your plans to deal with an unexpected need. Being flexible and patient are two key traits that will help you handle the demands of the job.

Trait #5: Physically fit
Being an LPN requires you to stay fit. You will need to stay on your feet most of the day, bend over patients, and help move and transport patients when needed. If you are someone who likes an active lifestyle, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Trait #6: Good communicator
LPNs handle important patient information every day. In this job, you may need to speak with other healthcare team members about a patient’s concerns.  Or you might talk with family members to reassure them about the level of care the patient is receiving. Or you may need to alert a physician when a patient is taking a turn for the worse. All these situations require good communication skills.

If you don’t have each of these traits right now, don’t worry! Your LPN training program can help you develop these traits and understand what you need to be successful and happy in this career path.

The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health in Manchester, NH wishes to express our gratitude and admiration for all our students and graduates. Whether you have gone on to become a nursing assistant, patient care technician, or practical nurse, you should be proud of the important work you are doing!

To learn more about our school, give us a call or contact us online. We’d love to help you get started on your path toward becoming an everyday hero.

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