Gero Psych

  1. Geriatric Psych has got to be one of the most frustrating floors to work on sometimes. I love the geriatric population and seeing them get better but in the mean time its a challenge. Can anyone give me tips on how to get pt's to accept medications? That seems to take up the bulk of my time, constantly re approaching. I am a new grad and I feel so overwhelmed sometimes and just need some encouragement and some pointers! Thanks
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    About Animal3

    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 112; Likes: 29
    Psych; from US


  3. by   mindlor
    My advice is to find a new job, geri psych = ugh
  4. by   classicdame
    have you tried mixing it with applesauce or ice cream or some other food? May you can review the meds to see if any can be changed from solid to liquid form. I have made "milshakes" with a small amount of ice cream + Boost or whatever supplement is allowed and mix meds that can be taken in that form. Geriatrics seem to like sweets. The risk is offering too much at once & pt. refused to finish eating or drinking. Then the med is not taken in the right dose.
  5. by   kennedy0419
    use little tatics, like put the medicine on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or in some orange juice. it is a very hard population to work with
  6. by   Animal3
    Thanks, I have made the mistake of mixing meds in an ice cream cup and then they only accept a spoon full and then you are stuck with the rest not knowing exactly what they got in them....I have started to search for new jobs but I haven't even been there a year. I really want to stick it out at least a yr.
  7. by   mindlor
    Well gosh, I wish you well, its a hard lot in life. Alzheimers and dementia pts are the most difficult for sure. But many blessings to the heroes thatt are able to care for them.

    Let me say that again, HEROES. Bless you all!

    I could not do it....
  8. by   DixieRedHead
    I have found this to work sometimes. Just take the med cup, and the water. Say "I have your medicine." Hold it out. don't say anything else. Wait a moment or two. Also try giving some water first. Meds make their mouths dry, and they may not want to take the pills into a dry mouth. I find they do better without too much talk.
  9. by   Mom2boysRN
    I work on a dementia unit in LTC. First I never call it medicine. I approach, smile and say Hi x howare you today? They answer I respond. Then I say I have something for you... Some will take them, others say oh they are pills.... Yes they are to keep your heart , bones, or whatever strong. So you've even done some pt education... Don't worry about telling them what they are all for oh and I've never had anyone respond well to saying something is for their brain (namenda, aricept)... Usually by being a friend to them they are more cooperative.
  10. by   GonnaQuitSomeday
    Tell them you have their blood pressure pills. It doesn't matter if you are giving them other medicine they are not going to understand or remember their need for namenda or aricept, but every geriatric patient understands the need to take medicine for their blood pressure. Antibiotics too. Blood pressure pills and antibiotics almost always register with them. I know it is lying, but getting their meds in them is more important than being honest.
  11. by   Animal3
    Thanks so much, I will try some of the suggested techniques
  12. by   Vinniesguy
    One technique I used to use was to put extra nurse initiated meds in with the regular meds. Usually 2 panadol and 2 coloxyl and senna. I would then go to the patient and show them the tablets and tell them I had their medication. I would then say "there seems rather a lot - lets get rid of some" I would then take out the panadol and coloxyl and senna and say "there - that's better" and give them the rest of the pills - worked almost every time!
  13. by   onthemark
    I was taught to mix the crushed meds in as little applesauce or ice cream as possible so that they can get it all in 1,2 or 3 bites. I usually only use about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons. I then offer a little water to wash it down if they want it.

    When they ask what it is, I do the same as some others have said: I say it's for something like blood pressure or pain, or just say it's vitamins or antibiotics -- but I never say anything about psych meds. I also start by saying something like, "Hello Mrs. Smith. How are feeling today?....Well, I have some medicine that should help."

    I personally enjoy the psych patients. I feel for them knowing how confusing everything must be for them, and it gives me a lift when they respond well to me because I realize how difficult relationships are for them. Good luck! It does take patience but I feel it's a meaningful place to be.
  14. by   PsychNurseWannaBe
    We are limited to applesauce, pudding and ice cream. We are not allowed to put medications in any other food.