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Being Prepared For Emergencies as an LPN

Nurse With Chart

Though the licensed practical nurse (LPN) role in emergencies may seem to be more distanced than that of a registered nurse (RN), it’s still important for them to prepare for emergency care. Thinking clearly in an emergency may seem like a daunting task to students and newly qualified nurses, but it doesn’t need to be. These tips from Prism Career Institute can help you keep a clear head in high-pressure situations, so you can provide patients with the best emergency care possible.

Understanding Your Role in Emergencies as an LPN

LPNs typically work in supportive roles to RNs. This can mean LPNs have a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Changing bandages
  • Sterilizing equipment
  • Taking patients’ vital signs
  • Collecting samples
  • And more.

These supportive practices are crucial to any type of nursing, and while it may be rare to find yourself working directly in an emergency room as an LPN, that doesn’t mean you’ll never be dealing with an emergency. The following are some practices that can help give you confidence when transferring your skills to your emergency care as an LPN:

Get to Know Your Surroundings

If you are new on a team or your position often has you in new locations, being comfortable with your surroundings is important at all times but especially during emergencies. Make a common practice of finding out where vital equipment and medicines are kept as soon as you are introduced to a new facility. Furthermore, identify managers and senior nurses for quick resources.

Practice Calming Techniques

You may be feeling anxious, but your patient is bound to be as well. Practicing whichever calming techniques work for you (i.e. deep breathing exercises) can help keep both yourself and the patient calm in an emergency. Additionally, be sure to respond calmly to your colleagues, as well as the patient, in high-stress situations to avoid raising anyone’s anxiety levels.

Remember Your Training

This may seem obvious, but referring to basics can be difficult in the middle of an emergency event. Use simple acronyms and mantras to help you remain focused, bring you back to your training, and help the patient and your colleagues.


Walking through an emergency event after the fact is an important tool that can help give you clarity and assist you in future emergencies. Once an emergency is over, go over your actions on your own or with your team. This practice can help you parse through helpful reactions and things you might want to change in the future. The following are some helpful questions to ask:

  • What about this emergency could have been predicted?
  • What did I do well?
  • Could I have done anything differently?

Build Confidence through Practical Nursing

The LPN role in emergencies can offer crucial support to RNs and doctors alike. With locations in Philadelphia, PA, Cherry Hill, NJ, and Egg Harbor NJ, Prism Career Institute can help you provide the best care possible. Our Practical Nursing program is specifically designed to help students prepare for their LPN licensing exam. Contact us today to enroll or request more information.