Geriatric Nurse Job Description Sample
Geriatric Nurses provide healthcare services to elderly patients. Image source: Career.mynursingdegree.com
Geriatric Nurse Job Description Sample
Geriatric nurses work specifically with elderly patients. They perform mental as well as physical healthcare on aged patients.
As people grow older, their health may start to fail and they would need regular healthcare and assistance. This is basically what a geriatric nurse’s duty is all about.
Their job description entails assisting elderly patients suffering from terminal illnesses like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, cataract, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and lots of other diseases.
If a patient is bedridden, a geriatric nurse would provide care for such a patient too. These nurses also play the role of taking care of aged patients with mental conditions.
They could help to feed them, cloth them, administer drugs and sometimes, help with moral support and therapy.
Geriatric nurses can work in hospitals, mental care facilities, assisted living centers, private clinics, nursing homes and community health centers.
Some of these professionals may also own private practices which involves visiting the homes of their patients to care for them.
They also help to give advice to the families of their patients to help them understand and cope with illnesses.
Sample Job Description of a Geriatric Nurse
Below is a job description sample for the post of a geriatric nurse, consisting of key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they are usually required to perform.
This can also be used in writing a good resume for seeking employment as a nurse in a hospital’s geriatric unit or and other medical centers.
Assist doctors in providing healthcare and support to elderly patients
Help to bathe bedridden patients to prevent bedsores
Understand patients medications and administer them to clients as and when due
Help to conduct regular screenings and routine check-up on patients
Help to assess the cognitive skills and mental status of their patients
Observe, understand, and manage peculiar old age health concerns like incontinence, insomnia, loss of strength and appetite, sexual issues as well as mobility challenges
Help to educate the families and caregivers of their patients on the best ways to care for them and keep them safe
Assist doctors with medical examinations and administer prescribed treatments
Help to maintain a chart for their patients in order to have accurate records of patient’s medical history, treatment plan and progress
Help to perform prescribed tests on their patients, like blood pressure checks, temperature, respiration, pulse and blood sugar.
Requirements – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for the
Geriatric Nurse Position
The following skills, knowledge, and abilities are typically required qualities by most employers from applicants seeking to work as geriatric nurses in healthcare centers:
You must be interested and willing to work with elderly people
You must also understand the art of multi-tasking and effective time management
Having a genuine interest in helping other people is a skill that would also come in handy for geriatric nurses
You must have enough strength and stamina to withstand long hours of standing while on duty
Geriatric nurses must also be very safety conscious. A high percentage of deaths in elderly people have been traced to avoidable falls, so a nurse working with an elderly person must be conscious of this and monitor their patients closely to prevent such falls
The nurse should also be physically and mentally fit
They should be good team players and be able to work with doctors and other colleagues well
They should also have solid people relationship skills. They must be able to relate well with patients as well as all other medical staff.
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Geriatric staff nurses focus on caring for older adults. As the U.S. population ages, this career is in high demand. According to the U.S. Census, by 2050 more than 20% of Americans – 88 million people – will be over age 65. Yet less than 1% of registered nurses and 3% of
advanced practice registered nurses are certified in geriatrics, according to the American Geriatric Society.
Geriatric nurses are educated to understand and treat the often complex physical and mental health needs of older people. They 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.
Geriatric nurses must enjoy working with older people. They must be patient, listen extremely carefully and balance the needs of their patients with sometimes conflicting demands from family members.
When working with their patients, a geriatric nurse will:
Assess the patient’s mental status and cognitive (thinking) skills
Understand patient’s acute and chronic health issues
Discuss common health concerns, such as falls, incontinence, changing sleep patterns and sexual issues
Educate the patient about personal safety and disease prevention
Explain and recommend adjustments to the patient’s medication regimen to ensure adherence
Link the patient with local resources as needed
Many older people have health conditions that do not require hospitalization, but must be treated with medication, changes in diet, use of special equipment (such as a blood sugar monitor or walker), daily exercises or other adaptations. Geriatric nurses help design and explain these healthcare regimens to patients and their families. They often function as “case managers,” linking families with community resources to help them care for elderly
Geriatric nurses work in a variety of practice settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, senior centers, retirement communities and patients’ homes. They often work as part of a care team that includes physicians, social workers, nursing aides, physical and occupational therapists and other caring professionals.
In hospitals, geriatric nurses tend to work with treatment teams that have large older patient populations, such as outpatient surgery, cardiology, rehabilitation, ophthalmology,
dermatology and geriatric mental health (treating older patients with psychiatric conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety and depression).
In rehabilitation and long-term care facilities, geriatric nurses manage patient care from initial assessment through development, implementation and evaluation of the care plan. They may also take on administrative, training and leadership roles.
Outlook and Salary Range
Because of the aging population, there is increasing demand for geriatric nurses, especially in nursing homes and health care facilities that have a high older patient population. Bilingual nurses, particularly those fluent in both Spanish and English, are needed. The average salary for a geriatric nurse is $63,382, but salaries vary greatly depending on your experience, education and where you work.