5 Tips for Nurses Working With Elderly Patients
Out of all of the specialties in the nursing profession, one that is reportedly on the rise is geriatric nursing. These are the nurses who use their knowledge and skills to provide top-notch care to elderly patients; especially those who are in a nursing home or some form of primary care.
Being committed to caring for seniors is an admirable task; one that comes with quite a bit of responsibility. So, if you’re strongly considering becoming a nurse who works exclusively with elderly patients, we have five tips to help you to do so successfully below:
Be patient. Older people tend to be very wise but in many ways, they are also very fragile; especially physically. This means that they tend to move at a slower pace and also may need you to communicate with them in a calmer fashion. So, out of all of the things that you need to be with seniors, patient goes on the very top of the list.
Do some extensive research. As people age, they tend to become more vulnerable to certain things like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, bone fractures and depression. However, the more research that you do on these health issues, the better prepared you will be should you see some of these symptoms in the patients you are working with. And the earlier something can be detected, the more thoroughly it can be addressed.
Get to know their family members. Providing care for seniors should be a group effort. And even though you and their attending physician might be giving them the health care that they need, in order for them to thrive, they also need plenty of emotional support. That’s why it’s very important to do all that you can to cultivate a relationship with their family members and close friends. That way, everyone remains on the same page and that way you can be more effective in meeting the needs of your patients.
Stay on top of their living conditions. Whether you went to a four-year college or you studied to become an adult nurse practitioner online , one of the things that you were probably taught is that it’s important to make sure that your patients are in facilities that can provide them with excellent care. As a geriatric nurse, oftentimes your patients will be in nursing homes. So, spend some time with the administrators discussing the facility and attention that your assigned seniors are receiving. If their living conditions are good, they have a far better chance of remaining in great physical health.
Provide your patients with education. It’s very important that as a nurse, you are not just there to help your elderly patients heal but to also put things in place that will prevent them from getting sick or hurting themselves in the future. Therefore, make sure that you assess their mental status, that you share with them the things that will make them susceptible to health issues like falling down or contracting pneumonia. And also share with them the importance of monitoring their diet and getting some low-impact exercise. As a nurse to the elderly, your role is to help them to have a quality life, for as long as they possibly can.