A MESSAGE FROM OUR NURSING LEADERS
THANK YOU, NURSES
This month, WCUI is celebrating 5 years of a wonderful partnership with Peoria MET Academy! Five years ago, Peoria MET brought their first class of medical students to WCUI’s original WCUI Phoenix campus to take a tour of our medical imaging labs. Since then, WCUI has hosted field trips for Peoria MET’s medical students to visit our campus. During the visits, students tour our labs and get a first-hand experience of what it takes to become a sonographer, MRI technologist, and nurse.
Throughout the years, WCUI has donated ultrasound machines to Peoria MET. The ultrasound machines allow their class of over 50 medical students a chance to learn the basics of ultrasound while completing their high school education. By receiving this hands-on experience, Peoria students are able to discover all aspects of the medical field including the exciting field of medical imaging!
During our five-year partnership, WCUI has provided student volunteers to help train Peoria’s students and sometimes their other faculty members on the donated ultrasound machines, sharing the amazing feat of seeing with sound.
New Donations & A Tour of the New Campus
In February 2021, we had the opportunity to donate four more ultrasound machines to continue to support Peoria MET programs. After a year of canceled field trips, Peoria MET’s Medical Strand Instructor, Kathy Kasney, and two MET students took a tour of the brand new Phoenix campus.
During their visit, Kathy and her students presented the WCUI Phoenix campus with a signed poster and student-made, machine etched tokens of appreciation featuring their logo and ours. A wonderful heartfelt gesture that symbolizes our collaboration with them over the years.
Kathy and her students were able to learn more about our new Practical Nursing program and meet with our Director of Practical Nursing Catherine Jagos. Catherine invited Kathy and her students to practice a few nursing skills in our brand new nursing simulation lab!
We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Peoria MET. Together we help their students gain knowledge and skills to pursue their goals of becoming our future healthcare professionals.
About Peoria MET
Peoria MET is a local Arizona Profesional Academy whose programs allow students to realize their strengths and passions by exploring potential science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) professions. The MET Professional Academy is designed to motivate students by treating them as working professionals. The programs prepare them for post-secondary education and careers in high-demand STEM fields. You can learn more about Peoria MET by visiting their website (www.peoriaunified.org/MET) and following them on Facebook (@PeoriaMET)and Instagram (@peoriaunifiedmet).
LVN vs LPN: What’s the Difference?
Prior to World War II, no state in the US actually provided licensure for nurses. Almost immediately after the war ended, however, states began passing legislation that created a lot of the licensing bodies we deal with today. It was at this time that a lot of the acronyms that we are now familiar with – like RNs – came into existence.
Two of the most prominent are also among the most often confused: LVNs and LPNs, or licensed vocational nurses and licensed practical nurses. But what are the differences between these two roles, and what are the responsibilities of one over the other? The answers to those questions require you to keep a few key things in mind.
Licensed Vocational Nurses: An Overview
Maybe the most important thing to understand about licensed vocational nurses is that they are essentially just LPNs that go by a different name. The term “licensed vocational nurse” is actually used to describe all of the functions outlined above in Texas and California. The term “licensed practical nurse” is the one you will find nearly everywhere else in the United States. To that end, the difference between an LVN and an LPN ultimately comes down to where in the country you choose to work.
Both an LVN and an LPN will go through an incredible amount of medical training – something that is an essential part of their ongoing success in the field. Just a few of the important areas that they will study include but are not limited to ones like:
- The human anatomy.
- The administration of various medications.
- Common processes used when treating diseases.
- Therapeutic nursing care requirements.
- Rehabilitative and restorative nursing care.
- Some of the cultural differences they are likely to encounter when caring for patients.
- The psychosocial impact that someone experiences when being diagnosed with a disease.
- And many, many others.
What is a Licensed Practical Nurse?
The most important thing to understand about both LPNs and LVNs is that their precise duties will typically vary depending on the state they find themselves working in. Having said that, one of the most important responsibilities for licensed practical nurses in particular often includes monitoring basic patient health – which itself includes all vital signs, as well as their overall condition. Staying on top of this information is critical, as it gives doctors and other healthcare officials a complete picture from which to work from.
Throughout the course of a day LPNs will also likely find themselves changing bandages, changing wound dressings and even inserting catheters depending on the patient. They will be responsible for taking down complete patient histories, as well as maintaining an accurate documentation of all care given.
They will help with various tests and procedures and will also provide basic hygiene care to patients – examples of which include helping them bathe or even go to the restroom as-needed.
But most importantly, they will also consult with registered nurses (RNs) on implementing care plans, as by that time they will already have an incredible level of experience with the patients themselves.
Another factor that will dictate exactly what a licensed practical nurse does during the course of day will come down to where they find themselves working. Different environments will naturally have different needs, and some of the most common include:
- Hospital settings. Here, an LPN is most likely to assist RNs and oversee nurse assistants to make sure that everyone is always on the same page regarding patient care.
- Physician offices. In this environment, an LPN is most likely to be caring for wounds and (given everything going on in the world right now with the pandemic) assisting with the distribution of immunizations.
- Rehabilitation centers. This is where an LPN will likely be responsible for offering critical therapeutic care to those recovering from some type of trauma, injury, or illness.
Much like licensed practical nurses, an LVN can be employed in a wide range of different types of environments depending on his or her preferences. In addition to hospitals and long-term care environments, they are also commonly found in private practice doctor’s offices, at home health agencies and even in schools.
Likewise, both LVNs and LPNs need to have the same basic traits in order to be successful in the field. Because people in both positions will be working with a lot of sick people, and sick people are not necessarily known for being enthusiastic 100% of the time, they will need an exceptional level of patience to provide the greatest level of care possible.
Along the same lines, they will also need to be self-driven and self-organized people as both an LVN and an LPN will have many responsibilities on the job. Not only is this true in terms of specific care to different patients, but they will also have a variety of administrative tasks they will need to complete during a shift, too.