Feb 16, 2021 03:26 PM EST
What Makes Gerontology Nurses Stand Out From the Crowd?
Gerontology nursing calls for a special kind of person. It depends on an extensive range of skills, which can be learned, but also on personal qualities which you may or may not have. Gerontology nurses are some of the most respected people in medicine, earning good salaries and getting a lot of love from their patients. Could you have what it takes to become one?
Kindness is always important in nursing but never more so than when you're dealing with people who are more likely to be facing multiple problems. They may be confused due to dementia or exhausted due to declining fitness levels. They may need to do everything slowly, requiring a lot of patience from those providing care. Gerontology nurses always put patient needs - and feelings - first.
Physical strength is important if you're going to spend a significant part of your day moving patients, so gerontology nurses need to be in good shape. They also have to be emotionally tough because they need to be able to cope with the death of a patient and provide a calm, reassuring presence for those who are frightened about what's happening to them.
They're good at preventative care
The best way to look after older people is to keep them from developing problems in the first place. A primary care nurse practitioner in this environment needs to organize routine tests and scans, help them to keep fit and liaise with other organizations to ensure that they have adequate social and practical support. They need to be good listeners and alert to subtle signs of developing illnesses.
They have wide-reaching knowledge
The sheer range of illnesses and disabilities that primarily affect older people is huge. Gerontology nurses need to recognize and know how to manage as many as possible. They are often the first people to identify risks, before doctors get involved, and they need to be good at managing complex patient profiles.
They prioritize patient safety
For many older people, life is fraught with risks. These include structural risks such as trip hazards which could lead to broken bones, and physical risks such as complicated medication regimes which make it all too easy to forget essential drugs. Nurses also need to be able to advocate for patients with additional needs who face practical or bureaucratic hurdles in clinical environments.
Gerontology nurses work in lots of contexts and help patients with a wide range of different primary health concerns. They need to be able to adapt their skill sets to suit this, with many choosing to pursue additional specialties. Some move between different working environments such as hospitals, doctors' offices and home care provision, over the course of their careers.
There's no disputing that this is a challenging career path, but it's also an intensely rewarding one. If you think you could take it on, there are always positions available. It's a role that will help you to become the best person you can be and is full of opportunities to learn more.
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