Gerontological (Geriatric) Nursing – Job Description

What Is Geriatric Nursing?

This a specialty of nursing that aims more toward the patient care of elders. We mean older people that the age of 59 of older. These issues can be physical, mental, emotional, or psychological. 

The range of care is broad, There a focus on overall health and wellness, as well as sickness and injury. This specialty has grown in recent years to the increase in life expectancy and declining fertility rates. The aging demographic in the world is growing, especially in developed countries.  

People are living longer now than they ever have before in our world's history. Therefore it is important their are proper healthcare system and practices put in place to adequately care for this new demographic. It has become more and more important to meet the healthcare needs of the older generation. 

What Do Geriatric Nursing Do?

These nurses are very aware of the natural physiological or hormonal changes that take place in the body as it ages. Geriatric nurses are knowledge in the convoluted factors that affect the health of older people.  Older patients are more likely to have chronic health issues and problems. 

These nurses still have to deal with atypical situations. They have to be prepared for situations that are not as common just as regular nurses would. They can help the doctors diagnose the patients.  

Geriatric nurses also help these elderly people with many of their basic and daily functions. The elder population can lose some of their physical, mental, and psychological abilities to carry out their basic activities.

Obviously, that is where the nurses come in. These nurses help their patients prepare food for eating. They can help them shower, go to the bathroom, put on clothing, take their medication, send messages and communicate with their families. 

They also take the time to educate their patients on the idea of staying healthy of overall. Stuff like avoiding acute injuries, keeping your mind engaged, eating good food, sleeping eight hours a night, keeping stress levels low, etc. 

Because patients take much longer and have a much harder time recovering and rehabilitating from injuries, it is very important that they properly take care of themselves and build a lifestyle. They should do everything necessary to avoid injury or any type of physical ailments. These include:

- Diabetes 
- Physical Conditions Related To Diabetes
- Physical Conditions Related To Cancer
- Heart Disease
- Seizures
- Strokes
- Light Headedness
- Dizziness
- Deliriousness 
- Respiratory Issues
- Thyroid Problems

The nurses record all their medical and treatment information.  They need to keep all information regarding the patient's condition current. This is so that appropriate future treatment plans can be made for these patients. 

Where Do Geriatric Nurses Work?

These nurses can work in many settings. They can work in hospitals, assisted living homes, retirement homes, the  patient's home, community health agencies, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, senior centers, and many more.  

How To Become A Geriatric Nurse?

Geriatric Nurses and registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. That means these nurses have Associates Degrees in Nursing or Bachelor's Of Science In Nursing and passed their licensing exam.

Most places looking to o hire geriatric nurses are looking for nurses with bachelor's degree and two years experience working directly with patients. Preferably working with older patients.

Employers are also looking for nurses to be certified in as many fields related to geriatric nursing as possible. Certifications such as basic life support, advanced cardiac life support, CPR, or forms of advanced life support. They might even prefer a nurse with a graduate degree. Therefore it is important to continue your education. 

Advanced geriatric nurse specialists or nurse practitioners have MSNs in geriatric nursing. These nurses also have two years of nursing experience and have many certifications related to geriatric nursing.  

These specialists also have a required amount of hours continued education and work experience they need to complete before being granted the title of specialist. 

Success is a rebellion. It would be best to consult your local university, college, hospital, or healthcare facility about employment opportunities and education advancement. 

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