Gerontological nursing, or the nursing of elderly, has specific qualifications. This is because elderly patients have physical, psychological, and emotional needs that are unique. As well, they have families who need support and education. Nurses who care for elderly patients have an important and irreplaceable role.
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According to allnursingschools.com, "Geriatric nurses care for the elderly, focusing on the development and implementation of treatment plans for chronic illnesses." Nurses who care for the elderly have to anticipate regular age-related problems as well as treat abnormal and more serious illnesses. They must do so with compassion and consideration, realising their client's psyche and emotions may be as fragile as their physical health.
An elderly client almost always comes with concerned family. This is why allnursingschools.com says, "Their job also involves another important component---educating, supporting and counselling families of elderly patients." Thus, the nurse who provides care to an elderly patient also provides instruction and compassion to the worried family.
It is not enough for a geriatrics nurse to be medically competent. As Katrina Cannon on americangeriatrics.org says, "As I watch my friends, family and the nation age, the need for caring, compassionate and competent geriatricians is critical." The nurse who cares for the elderly must bring with her a tender heart and patient way of being.
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