What's the Job Description of a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner?
Do you want to pursue a nursing specialty? Would you be interested in providing care to the aging population? Then perhaps a career as a geriatric nurse practitioner would be of interest to you. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Adult Health Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What are the Responsibilities of a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner?
According to job postings on Careerbuilder.com in December 2011, your responsibilities as a geriatric nurse practitioner will be similar to those of other advanced nurse practitioners. This can include providing information on treatment and medications to patients and their families, monitoring treatments and keeping detailed records of patient care. You may also be responsible for supervising other nurses and hospital staff, as well as providing supervision for standards of safety, care quality and patients' rights.
As an advanced practice nurse with a graduate degree, you would be involved in prescribing medicine and treatment, diagnosis and implementing the plan of care. You may also consult with physicians and coordinate patient care with other healthcare practitioners. Teaching patients and their caregivers how to manage an illness, and, in some cases, administer certain treatments at home may also be part of your duties.
What is Unique about Geriatric Nursing?
As a geriatric nurse you may encounter patients who require long-term care for chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer's or dementia, diabetes, kidney disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some patients need palliative care to manage their disease and maintain quality of life throughout the term of the disease. Also, elderly patients may have more than one health issue, making care more complex. For instance, you would take into consideration the interactions of different medications taken by the patient.
You may pursue employment at a variety of healthcare environments, including hospitals, private physician offices, hospice facilities, retirement communities, assisted living situations. Wherever you find employment, the range of patient needs will vary greatly. Your position may require transporting patients between institutions or between institutions and home.
Some patients will require minimal care, while others will be heavily dependent on you for assistance. In addition to providing emotional support to the patients and their families, your position may also require an understanding of adult development and sympathy for the aging process.
Older adults can bring more life experience and certainty of their values to illness and recovery but also more apprehension about the future. In caring for you may need to respond to these concerns.
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