What Are the Duties of a Geriatric Nurse? A geriatric nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in the care of elderly people. Geriatric nurses must have the same educational background as registered nurses, including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Duties of a geriatric nurse, however, differ from other fields of nursing due to the unique problems that can arise in elderly patients. Work Sites 1. Geriatric nurses work in facilities like hospitals and clinics along with facilities like senior centers, health care centers and long-term care facilities. Geriatric nurse may also work from patients’ homes.
Assess Problems 2. Geriatric nurses must be able to assess medical problems of their elderly patients. Often, it is the geriatric nurse who must decide if his patient can preform every day tasks on her own. Assessments may be in activities like driving, walking and taking medications. Communication Skills 3. Geriatric nurses must be able to determine, through both verbal and non-verbal communication, the health of patients by knowing symptoms, ailments and medications being taken by patients. Geriatric nurses are the liaison between doctors, patients, patients’ families and other health-care facility workers.
On the Road 4. A geriatric nurse may also be required to have a driver’s license. A geriatric nurse may have to make calls to patients’ homes to provide health care. Patient Relationships 5. Geriatric nurses often spend large amounts of time with their patients, causing them to have close-knit relationships with the patients and their families. Geriatric nurses, because of the time spent with their elderly patients, must be able to cope with the death of patients as well as the decline of a patient’s mental and physical health.