Whether you have just finished your nursing degree or are planning to enter this field, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the profession. Here are some things to consider:
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Changing demographics requires that nurses gain gerontology competency. Gerontology nursing is a specialization that involves a comprehensive study of the aging process and the care needs of older adults. It also emphasizes psychological and physiological well-being. It includes a learning partnership with community-dwelling older adults.
Gerontology nursing is practiced in many settings, such as senior centers, hospitals, patients’ homes, and rehabilitation facilities. The nurses aim to ensure that the patients stay safe and that they can recover as quickly as possible. They provide physical and mental health care services. They also administer medications and screen for potential safety concerns.
A recent study conducted in the United States examined the extent of gerontology content in undergraduate nursing programs. The study found that only half of the programs required students to complete a gerontology course. It also determined that the courses in the programs included a small amount of clinical practice gerontological content.
A geriatric nursing course provides students with the knowledge to work in a team and meet older people’s complex needs. It also encourages a creative approach to practice.
Providing care for the elderly can be a challenging career. But it’s also a rewarding one. Gerontology is one of the most in-demand careers in the healthcare industry. The demand for nurses and other healthcare professionals to help older adults is expected to grow rapidly.
There are many ways to get started in gerontology. Some start as social workers, health educators, or psychologists. Others work in nursing homes or retirement communities. Regardless of your background, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the elderly.
The field of gerontology is relatively large and diverse. It focuses on aging, the physiological aspects of aging, and how society treats the elderly.
Whether working in a nursing home, clinic, or retirement community, geriatric nurses care for patients of all ages. They are responsible for treating acute and chronic conditions, providing care and counseling for mental health and disability-related issues, and coordinating care with other healthcare professionals.
Typically, geriatric nurses work full-time, although some may work part-time. Depending on the patient’s needs, they might be on call during evening and weekend hours. They are usually required to have at least two years of experience as a registered nurse and are often required to complete a senior center practicum.
Some of the duties of geriatric nurses include educating patients on fall prevention, monitoring health vitals, and prescribing medications, depending on the state’s laws. They also monitor for signs of elder abuse. They may speak with family members about care plans.
In addition to direct patient care, geriatric nurses may be called upon to perform case management tasks, such as referring patients to a long-term care facility. They must also be strong advocates for their patients.
A career path in gerontology nursing is a great way to improve the quality of life for the elderly. Whether you’re interested in helping the elderly live in their own home or assisting them in a long-term care facility, many career opportunities are available.
The elderly often suffer from physical and cognitive conditions, so working with these patients is an important real-life laboratory. Good record-keeping and communication skills are essential for working with older clients.
Gerontology nursing careers involve a lot of specialized training and require licensing requirements for RNs in all US states. However, some employers will hire geriatric nurses right out of school.