Common Misconceptions About CNAs and LPNs

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Right at Home caregiver helps client with medication management

"Just an aide?" "Not a real nurse?" Sandy Pelligrine, co-owner of Right at Home in Foxborough, Mass., debunks some myths about the roles of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in healthcare.

Sandy first dispenses with the stereotype that CNAs spend most of their time changing adult diapers and giving baths, noting that, in fact, assisting with personal hygiene is only a small part of a CNA's work. She says, "Because our aides and CNAs handle the day-to-day care, they are the eyes and ears, and they work to make sure clients can stay in their home." And, she says, CNAs are in the position to learn the healthcare ropes, and many go on to pursue a nursing license or degree.

And what about licensed practical nurses (LPNs)? Sandy reports that LPNs perform many of the same tasks as registered nurses (RNs), such as taking vital signs, administering medicine or injections, changing bandages, inserting catheters, and reporting status updates. And LPNs are there to be a listening ear and to lend emotional support to care recipients and their families, an important aspect for all patient situations.

To learn more about the nursing hierarchy, visit the Right at Home blog, where you will always find the latest information about healthy aging and home care.

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Right at Home, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned providers of in home care services.