As the nursing shortage continues throughout the United States, the need for qualified and professional nursing staff will increase. In addition, the population is getting older and the need for senior care nurses is even more dramatic. Families who are caring for elderly relatives understand how nurses provide an essential role in the health care of older adults.
Becoming a Better Nurse
Although there are some misconceptions when it comes to working with the elderly, many nurses realize they actually become better at their jobs while working in senior care. Critical thinking skills and quick assessments are a necessity when working in a nursing home environment. Many nurses also realize a new sense of purpose as they work with older individuals on a daily basis. They become more involved with their older patients and embrace the knowledge and wisdom these patients offer.
So Much Overtime
The demand for quality nurses to work in senior care is increasing. In many nursing homes, an RN works several overtime shifts each week to meet the needs of patients. The demand for senior care nurses is moving at a higher rate than the number of students choosing senior care as a career path. Many RNs move out of the caregiver role and into teaching, analysis, or healthcare administration over the course of their career. This further exacerbates the need for qualified healthcare providers in this and other healthcare niches. Nursing students who decide to work with the elderly will need to be prepared to work overtime hours.
Nurses Are Personal and Professional
Senior caregivers and nurses make a meaningful impact on the lives of seniors and their families. Families trust nurses to take care of aging parents with compassion and dignity. Even at the end of a long shift, after a tough day caring for a variety of patients, a nurse is able to recognize the importance of treating patients like family. Older patients deserve respect and nurses can appreciate their legacy and the unique insights while getting to know patients on a personal level.
A Double Check on Other Healthcare Professionals
Nurses have even more responsibility when it comes to the holistic care of elderly patients. It’s usually the job of an RN to double check prescriptions, medication dosage, and even diagnosis of patients. Doctors often have limited time to spend with each patient while nurses continue to check on the person throughout the day. A quality senior care nurse will recognize changes in behavior or attitude and can quickly address the patient’s needs.
Working with the elderly is rewarding and fulfilling. Knowing families are depending on you to take care of their aging parents offers a sense of pride and significance. Often nurses working in senior care provide compassion and sensitivity when patients are most vulnerable and provide a personal touch in a patient’s end of life journey.
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