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Geriatric Nurses in High Demand | Nurse Residency Programs

Geriatric Nurses in High Demand

January 24, 2013 8:56 pm

With the increasing number of baby boomers retiring and reaching higher ages, geriatric nurses are in high demand. Many people do not think about geriatric nursing when they are choosing their specialty. However, it can be a very rewarding career. Read further to find out more about the geriatric specialty and find out how you can benefit the field of geriatric nursing.

Where Does a Geriatric Nurse Work?

A geriatric nurse works in long term care facilities that are geared toward caring for the elderly. They also work in hospice care, and for home care companies that care for the aging.  A geriatric nurse essentially works in areas where there is a high population of aging adults.

What Does a Geriatric Nurse Do?

A geriatric nurse ensures the health of aging patients. These patients are either cared for at home, or in a long term care facility.

The nurse monitors the vital signs, ensures that the patients receive their medications at the right time, ensures that the patient’s daily hygiene needs are met, and that they are eating the proper amount.  Essentially, a geriatric nurse does what a hospital nurse does, but on a long term basis.

Long Term Care

Long term care can be for those who are recovering from surgery, or those who will be living in a facility for the rest of their lives. For many, this is their last stop. They need the love, care, and companionship that the nursing staff offers and they need time and patience that is offered as well.

Many people enjoy the socialization that they are able to get while they are at the long term care facility. They are able to meet people with the same interests that they have, and are able to do activities that they would not be able to do from their own homes.

Extensive Care Needs

Many times, people come into a nursing home or living facility because their family is not able to take care of their needs. Many of the patients need around the clock care for basic essentials, such as bathing, eating, and bathroom needs.

Still, other patients need care that extends beyond the basic care needs. They need to be on a ventilator, oxygen, chemotherapy, dialysis, or other life sustaining equipment.

Medication Needs and Memory

Some patients come to a nursing home or living facility because they simply cannot manage their medication, or they cannot function on their own because of memory issues. As the average person ages, their mind becomes less sharp and they develop problems remembering different things. Unfortunately, one of the things that is commonly forgotten is life sustaining medication. Even if they are able to perform daily activities, such as bathing and personal hygiene care, the nursing staff is there for reminders should they forget.

Many times, these memory issues stretch as far as developing Alzheimer’s.  The nurses in the facility are in charge of monitoring the progress of the symptoms and reporting back to the doctor.

What Education Is Necessary to Become a Geriatric Nurse

Geriatric nurses go through the same training that any other nurse does. You cannot honestly choose a specialty while you are in school. You can however focus your projects and your papers on a certain aspect. You can also focus your studies on a certain specialty to ensure that you have a well-rounded education in nursing, but you are well informed in a specific aspect.

While you are completing your clinicals, you can also request letters of recommendation for your chosen field.  After school, you will complete your NCLEX exam, and you will enter the world of nursing.