Nursing profession offers innumerable opportunities for specialization in specific areas of interest in healthcare services. One of the many such specializations in nursing profession is a career in Geriatric Nursing. Geriatric Nurse is none other than a registered nurse trained and certified to take up geriatric nursing as his or her chosen line of specialization in nursing profession.
What is Geriatrics and Geriatric Nursing?
Geriatrics is one of the many specialized subjects in medical studies that gives importance to healthcare and treatment of elderly persons, especially persons aged 65 years or above. A nurse who is trained to provide health care services to elderly persons is called as a Geriatric Nurse and the career is referred to as Geriatric Nursing.
Qualifications of a Geriatric Nurse
A registered nurse needs to acquire additional qualifications and work experience to work as a Geriatric nurse. He or she should have completed the basic 4-year graduate course in nursing – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and also obtained the license to work as a Registered Nurse by passing the Licensing Examination conducted by the appropriate authorities. In addition to this basic qualification, the registered nurse should have taken up certification programs in geriatric care and secured the certificates.
Special challenges in Geriatric nursing
The role of a geriatric nurse is primarily to provide health care assistance and treatment to elderly people, those who are aged 65 and above. One thing that a geriatric nurse cannot assure with 100% confidence is transformation of a patient to a normal person. Despite the best of services and additional care shown to geriatric patients, the probability of return to normalcy is relatively much less and Geriatric nurse may have to see the death of the patients. The pain and agony of seeing the patient kicking the bucket despite the best of healthcare efforts will be too much for a person with a weak heart. Geriatric nurses should have that additional stamina and strength to digest the inevitable.
Place of work for geriatric nurses
As is the case with any other registered nurse, a geriatric nurse will find work generally in hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes for the aged and assisted living facilities. Geriatric nurses may also be required to provide in-home treatment to elderly people who need medical attention at periodic intervals, but can take care of their daily routines without the assistance of a full-time nurse at their disposal.
Duties of a geriatric nurse
A geriatric nurse, as part of his or her responsibilities should
• provide assistance to the physicians during medical checkup and testing
• perform medical tests to patients either in hospital or at a home
• set up health goals as well as patient care plans
• providing medication to patient at regular intervals as per the patient care plan
• Educating and appraising family members about the health of the patient
• Advising means for promoting self-care skills to the patient and other family members.
The career of geriatric nurse is a challenging one, and with the steady increase in baby boomers, prospects for getting lucrative salaries is also bright.