Geriatric Staff Nurse - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Geriatric Staff Nurse


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Geriatric Staff Nurse Overview

 

Gerontology is the specialty of geriatrics which focuses on providing care for older adults. Nurses who work in this field understand the high demands of this specialty practice area.

Older adults are more likely to require health services than a young person. In fact, half of all admissions to hospitals are for patients over age 65. However, only 1 percent of nurses are certified in geriatrics.

In response to the aging of the American population, geriatric nursing is a rapidly growing career field. The post-WWII generation, called the “Baby Boomers,” is now hitting retirement age.

By 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than 20 percent of Americans will be over the age of 65.

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Responsibilities

 

A geriatric nurse is educated to assess and treat the challenging physical and mental health needs found in older people.

These nurses try to assist their patients in protecting their health and coping with changes in their mental and physical abilities. The goal is to help older people remain independent and active as long as possible.

Common duties required of a geriatric nurse may include:

  • Assessment of the patient mental status and cognitive (thinking) skills

  • Understanding a patient’s acute and chronic health issues

  • Discussion of common health concerns, such as falls, sexual issues, incontinence and changing sleep patterns

  • Organizing medications

  • Educating patients about personal safety and disease prevention

  • Explaining and recommending adjustments to the patient’s medication routine to increase adherence to the treatment regimen

  • Helping the patient with access to local resources as needed

Many of the health conditions suffered by older people do not require hospitalization but must be managed with medication, changes in dietary habits, daily exercise routines, adaptations within the home and the use of special equipment, such as walkers or blood sugar monitors.

Geriatric nurses are responsible for helping patients design health care regimens and explaining the importance of the plan to patients and their families.

The geriatric nurse may fill the role of case manager, connecting families with community resources to assist them in caring for elderly family members.

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perceptiveness

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

Employment opportunities for geriatric nurses are available in a variety of practice settings, such as:

  • Hospitals

  • Nursing homes

  • Senior centers

  • Rehabilitation facilities

  • Retirement communities

  • Patients’ homes through home health services

Geriatric nurses often are a vital part of a health care team that includes physicians, physical and occupational therapists, nursing aides, social workers and other caring professionals.

Geriatric nurses working in a hospital setting tend to work as part of a treatment team that serve a larger older patient population.

These teams may represent outpatient surgery, cardiology, ophthalmology, rehabilitation, dermatology and geriatric mental health, which may require treatment for psychiatric conditions such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety and depression.

In long-term care facilities and rehabilitation centers, geriatric nurses serve as patient care managers from the initial assessment through the development, implementation and evaluation of the care plan.

Geriatric nurses may also be required to take on administrative, training and leadership roles.

There is an increasing demand for geriatric nurses because of the aging population.

Employment opportunities are increasing in nursing homes and health care facilities that serve a large portion of the older patient population.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
08.19.2019
The Bozeman Health Internal Medicine group is seeking a Nurse Practitioner to provide team based primary care to adult and geriatric population of patients. The NP will provide internal medicine management in the outpatient setting to adult...
08.06.2019
Geriatric Nursing Assistant Posted: August 6, 2019 Category: Nursing A Geriatric Nursing Assistant performs patient care activities and related duties under the direction and supervision of a licensed nurse. Assignments are specific in...
07.11.2019
Psychiatric-Mental Health opening in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. This and other physician jobs brought to you by DocCafe.com Exciting opportunity for an adult/geriatric psychiatrist to join an established practice in west central Pennsylvania!...
08.19.2019
This position is designated Mandatory and must report or stay over during adverse weather events." Central Regional Hospital Where Caring is Contagious! We are currently recruiting for a Psychiatrist on the Geriatric Services Unit (GSU)...
08.10.2019
Description Geriatric Physician-University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Position Location : Cleveland, Ohio Position Type: Full-time Physician Specialty: Geriatric Medicine   The Geriatric...
08.19.2019
This physician will join Community Physician Network, a multi-specialty group with over 1,000 providers in Indianapolis, IN. With an appealing blend of big-city amenities, cosmopolitan style, and communities which boast top notch school systems,...
04.22.2019
About Us:   St. Vincent Healthcare is part of SCL Health, a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization.   Interested in making a difference? Then check us out. Our rich heritage and mission, and our focus on health care...
08.19.2019
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08.06.2019
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08.15.2019
Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares...
08.19.2019
This provider will join Community Physician Network, a multi-specialty group with over 1,000 providers in Indianapolis, IN. With an appealing blend of big-city amenities, cosmopolitan style, and communities which boast top notch school systems,...
08.19.2019
The Licensed Social Worker, reporting to the department manager, works in collaboration with the health care team and is responsible for assisting the Treatment team in the development and implementation of patient discharge plan of care....
06.17.2019
As a Registered Nurse, you will be responsible for delivering the highest quality patient care according to the specific orders of each patients individual physician. This will involve, utilizing your knowledge and skills to educate patients and...
06.17.2019
As a Registered Nurse, you will be responsible for delivering the highest quality patient care according to the specific orders of each patients individual physician. This will involve, utilizing your knowledge and skills to educate patients and...
06.13.2019
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