Working with senior citizens takes a special person able to handle the many different physical, mental and emotional problems that must be faced due to age. Geriatric nurses are specially trained in health concerns that seniors face, from heart and lung disease to diabetes, stroke or neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. The demand for Geriatric Nurses is growing at an astounding rate as the Baby Boomers begin to retire and require more specialized medical care.
Geriatric nurses are Registered Nurses that have passed the NCLEX-RN examination and have a degree from a campus-based or online nursing school that specializes in elder or geriatric care. Many of these nurses can be found working in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, providing a wide range of services from preventative to palliative care. Geriatric nurses can also be found in hospitals and clinics that specialize in the care of senior citizens, and can also travel to patients’ homes in order to help those with mobility issues. A Geriatric nurse can also become a specialist in any age-related physical or mental impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.
For Geriatric nurses, one of the most important aspects of the job is the ability to provide support and reassurance to patients that may be facing debilitating diseases and even death. With the natural process of aging playing out, a Geriatric nurse must take into account the rigors of age on the body and mind of a patient, as well as be sympathetic to family, friends and loved ones surrounding the patient. Because of these concerns, Geriatric nurses must also be sure to practice self-care and have a strong support system in place to process the events witnessed through the various job duties.
Earning an average salary of $60,000 per year, a Geriatric Nurse can be assured of a long-standing career that touches the lives of patients, as well as the family and friends of the patient. With the growing number of elderly patients facing the health and wellness problems related to aging, the field of Geriatric Nursing continues to provide stable career options.