Geriatric nursing is one of the many subfields of nursing. Care for the elderly is a vital component of the nursing profession. Elderly patients require specialized care to help them maintain their health and regain their independence. When elderly patients suffer from chronic and acute medical conditions, they depend on nurses to provide specialized care to keep them to become healthy and strong again.
As a nursing student, a nursing program will require students to take a nursing course to learn about geriatric nursing. The nursing student will learn how to take care of patients in this population that face many different types of dieases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
What is Geriatric Nursing?
Geriatric nursing consists of providing medical care for elderly patients. The needs of elderly patients are more complex so they require the care of geriatric nurses to care for their special needs. The advancements in medical technology have helps older people live longer, healthier lives with help from nurses.
Geriatric nursing also helps elderly patients care for their mental health. As the mental abilities of elderly patients change, these patients need the help of nurses to help them cope with the changes so that they can maintain their active, independent lives as long as they possibly can.
How Nurses Use Geriatric Nursing on the Job
Geriatric nurses use the skills they learn in the geriatric nursing courses to make health assessments regarding the mental status of their patients. They must understand how their patients think before they can implement any type of treatment. Many of the patients that enter the hospital suffer from a number of possible chronic and acute medical conditions. Geriatric nurses must use their skills to quickly, but adequately, assess the patient’s health condition so that they can create the appropriate treatment plan.
Geriatric nurses call upon their critical thinking skills when they work with a patient. They must not only understand the issues that the patient is currently dealing with, but they must also inquire about other health issues and concerns that may affect the patient’s health and treatment. They also use their geriatric nursing skills to education patients in the areas of disease preventions and safety so that the patients can remain healthy.
Geriatric nurses also study medications in their geriatric nursing courses. Administering the appropriate medications is important when dealing with elderly patients. Nurses must consider all of the patient’s current medical conditions before administering medications that are based strictly on the patient’s care plan. They also use their specialized skills to assist doctors with procedures and examinations so they must use the information they learn in their geriatric nursing courses to provide effective assistance.
Many of the patients that geriatric nurses handle on a daily basis will have diminishing mental capacities that prevent them from making their own health decisions. Geriatric nurses use their patience and expertise of handling elderly patients to make excellent decisions regarding their health. They also use the skills they learn in classes to help them show their patients and the families of patients how to promote and implement self-care skills so that the patients can remain independent as long as possible.
Tips on How to Study for Geriatric Nursing in Nursing School
Nursing school can be extremely stressful to handle. Nursing students must make sure that they have a study plan at the beginning of their course so that they have a foundation for the path that they want to take throughout the entire course. In addition, a nursing student may want to purchase an additional study guide to help them study. Amazon.com has some great study guides for nursing students. It takes a great deal of time and dedication to become a nurse. Here are a few helpful pointers that can help nursing students as they train to be licensed nurses.
- Remain interactive throughout the geriatric nursing courses. The best way to make the most of the course is to ask as many questions as possible during class time. It is also very important to submerge into the nursing environment in order to learn as much as possible. Reading literature and joining professional nursing organizations can be very beneficial.
- Take practice exams before the final course exam. Nursing students can prepare for the big exam by exposing themselves to as much geriatric nursing information as possible.
- Determine learning styles. Students cannot determine how they learn best until they figure this out. When students know their learning styles, they can decide which learning tools suit them best. Audio tools, manipulatives, and cue cards can help with specific learning styles.
Nursing school is filled with many exciting, informative courses that can help nursing students become successful nurses. Geriatric nursing courses provide nursing students with the tools they need to provide for the physical and mental care of elderly patients who may or may not have the ability to make decisions for themselves. Studying to pass the final exam in the geriatric nursing course begins with a simple plan of action.