As the life expectancies of humans are continuing to increase, society will always have a need for caring, compassionate, specialized health care professionals who have the skills and training to address the needs of the elderly. In nursing, this role has been given to Bradley University nurse practitioner doctorate degree professionals.
These dedicated nursing professionals have been taught and trained to work with the elderly. They also have the skills to deal with the obstacles that this age group faces. A nurse practitioner who works in geriatrics is a valued member of the health care system. Continue reading to learn more about a day in the life of one of these professionals, as well as what is required to be a nurse practitioner in this specialty.
This Doctor of Nurse Practitioner programs graduate works with the eldest people in our society. Unlike nurses who works in pediatrics, which consists of anyone under 18, there is no restricted age group for ‘geriatrics’. Instead, these nurses work with adults of any age who may be facing challenges as they age. This includes challenges that are not commonly found with young adults.
A BSN to DNP online graduate who works in geriatrics may find work in diverse types of clinical settings. However, one of the most common is a nursing home or an assisted living facility. They are often hired as caregivers and primary care providers for aging adults who need full or part-time assistance and care.
They may also find work in hospitals where they provide acute care for older adults. Older adults are living longer and healthier lives, and many do not require intense care. In these cases, a Nurse Practitioner may work in a clinic that provides outpatient care, a doctor’s office or open their own practice. It is very common to see these nursing professionals working in a combination of environments. They may also be ‘on call’ for hospitals and long-term care facilities.
The main challenge these professionals face when caring for the elderly is that it is likely the patient may be suffering from more than one health condition. The complexity of these conditions requires NPs to stay aware of existing conditions, as well as drug interactions for conditions that are being treated.
In every environment, they provide consultations to patients, their families, the nursing staff, pharmacists, therapists, and social workers. They must manage care plans for long-term treatment more often than general practitioners.
This means they may prescribe multiple medications and prescribe physical therapy over a period of years for the same patient. They also spend less time making first-time diagnoses because many have been treating their patients for years.
These unsung heroes and heroines work with the elderly population to maintain their quality of life for as long as possible. They help make retirement satisfying and exciting for the patients they care for.