Nurses who work in the field of geriatrics, also known as gerontology, focus on caring for older adults. This is a high-demand practice area, because older people are more likely to require health services. Half of all hospital admissions are for patients over age 65, but only 1% of nurses are certified in geriatrics (ExploreHealthCareers.org, 2013). Geriatric nurses are educated to understand and treat the often complex physical and mental health needs of older people. Nurses try to help their patients protect their health and cope with changes in their mental and physical abilities, so older people can stay independent and active as long as possible. Many older people have health conditions that do not require hospitalization, but must be treated with medication, changes in diet, use of special equipment, daily exercises or other adaptations. The nurses often function as a case manager, linking families with community resources to help them care for elderly members. (ExploreHealthCareers.org, 2013.) Geriatric nursing is a fast-growing career, because Americans are living longer. The post-WWII “Baby Boomer” generation is just now hitting retirement age. According to the U.S. Census, by 2050 more than 20% of Americans – 88 million people –– will be over age 65. (Cherry, 2011)
Providing care to the elderly can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It is important to remember that the needs of elderly clients are not different from other individuals. They have the same physical and psychological needs as any person of any age. These needs are sometimes more intense by the changes that interrupt the normal life patterns. When this happens, the elderly need understanding, acceptance, and the knowledge that someone care...
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...ry important in order to achieve the nursing goals and getting a positive outcome.
Ackley, B. J., & Ladwig, G. B. (2011). Nursing diagnosis handbook an evidence-based guide to planning care. (9th Ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Elsevier.
American Dental Association (2012, august 12). Retrieved from http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/151/Geriatric_Staff_Nurse
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2011). Contemporary nursing, issues, trends, & management. (5 Ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
Current Nursing (2013, august 01). Retrieved from http://currentnutsing_theory/application_self_care_deficit_theory.html
Meiner, S. E. (2011). Gerontology nursing. (4th Ed.). St. Louis: Mosby Inc.
Nursing Theory (2013, august 12). Retrieved from http://nursing-theory.org/theories-and-models/orem-self-care-deficit-theory.php
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