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geriatric nursing

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by dkrooster dkrooster (New) New

Just wondering, i am starting school in the fall. I will be an rn at some time or another. i love the elderly and would love to work in geriatrics, but i hear rumors.

I hear that geriatic nurses arent considered "real" nurses by other nurses. and that geriatric jobs dont pay very well. :twocents:

It bothers me. Is it true? :confused:

I am in Southwest Mich.....any idea what rn grads make?

Thx

2006RNCS

Specializes in ICU, Cardiology, Mother/Baby, LTC.

Hello. I recommend doing what your heart says. However, let me say, I did get a good critical care background first before going into LTC. I have only been an RN for 2 years, and a few months ago, I went into management. I am an RN supervisor on third shift in a LTC facility. I love it for the most part. Your heart has to really be into it. You need lots of patience, and you need a very caring heart.

Some LPN's and RN's go straight into LTC or a geriatric wing, but I do highly recommend getting some great assessment skills down first. You will definitely need them!

As for the people who think geriatrics is easy, they are so wrong. Most of these patients have multi-system diagnoses, and when they "crash," they do so in a heartbeat. You need to be really sharp in your assessments of the elderly, especially.

Maybe you could go into Med/Surg first or ICU to gain some valuable assessment skills. There are plenty elderly in both areas to learn a lot of skills from.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best. Take care, and God bless!!:heartbeat

racing-mom4, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/ER.

My 1st thought when I read this post is unless you work in peds or L&D we all work with the geriatric population! and it is only growing---we have a great way of keeping folks alive now...

but if you want to work in a nursing home setting read this article here in the article section

Tips for Geriatric and LTC Nursing

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by handyrn user_offline.gif

it is wonderful. If your passion is the elderly, I am sure you can find a facility that will make you happy. Dont worry about what other people say. One of my best clinical instructors ever was a NP that specialized in geriatrics. She was inspirational to say the least. It takes a very special person to be a geriatric nurse, and it is an area that we need more caring people in. It is not something I could do. But to those who do it--hats off to them!!!

Best of luck on your exciting future!!

mianders, RN

Specializes in ER, Infusion therapy, Oncology. Has 13 years experience.

I worked ER for a long time and we had a very large geriatric population. I now do IV Therapy and the same is true for it. The best thing is to go throught the nursing program and see which areas you really enjoy. Good luck.

hi.

i'm in michigan too!!! i work in ltc and i found this job very rewarding. most nursing homes have different units from rehab unit to long term care some have ventilator units. patients in rehab units go home in few weeks. in long term care unit, it requires a lot of patience and you have to watch them really carefully because they will fall. i think some of the patients are lonely and they really enjoy the staff sitting down and talking to them. since physicians are not in the building, nurses have to be really good at assessing patients and report any abnormals. the rns in long term cares facilities have higher hourly wage then the hospital. the starting wage in the hospital are $23/hr. in the long term care they start from $26-30/hr.

I worked in LTC at an excellent facility a few years ago. Loved the residents but not the politics. I have felt at different times that LTC nurses are seen as second rate and not being able to get a job any place else. Not so at all. Geriatrics and LTC is a specialty in itself. So much to learn and as an above poster said, elderly can become very ill and very quickly and sharp assessment skills are necessary. I know of some very fine LTC facilities and their benefits and pay are very good. Generally LTC pays a little less than hospital nursing. When I left LTC to go to a hospital, my pay went up a dollar an hour but I cleared less as had to pay for insurance - didn't pay anything at my LTC job. Follow your heart and good luck with your career choices.

hi.

i'm in michigan too!!! i work in ltc and i found this job very rewarding. most nursing homes have different units from rehab unit to long term care some have ventilator units. patients in rehab units go home in few weeks. in long term care unit, it requires a lot of patience and you have to watch them really carefully because they will fall. i think some of the patients are lonely and they really enjoy the staff sitting down and talking to them. since physicians are not in the building, nurses have to be really good at assessing patients and report any abnormals. the rns in long term cares facilities have higher hourly wage then the hospital. the starting wage in the hospital are $23/hr. in the long term care they start from $26-30/hr.

i live in the capitol city of this great state and i second everything she said. i am currently an lpn in ltc working on my rn and i was a aide before that. so, i've worked with the elderly for a while and it can be very rewarding, but it also has it's downsides. you have more residents on so many oral pills, in addition to tube feedings and an iv or two and some times it feels like all you do is pass meds. now, i'm not bashing it by any means i'd do it for the rest of my career if i had to. however, i am looking forward to getting out of ltc and into a hospital. again, not bashing just want you to see both sides of the coin. but, like i said before i truly do agree with the above quoted poster.

anurseuk

Specializes in Paediatric Cardic critical care. Has 6 years experience.

Care of the elderly is very rewarding, this is where I started my career spending the first 8 months on an acute elderly ward post qualifying... to be honest this was not the area I wanted to work, I was always passionate to work within critical care (which I now do and LOVE). The only thing for me working in the UK is that elderly care is usually understaffed with nurses who don't really want to work there, or nurses working there who have been there YEARS and who are very set in there ways. Of course there were a lot of people I worked with who were passionate about elderly care.

I used to find it very frustrating that I'd be busy with a patient who if any younger would have gone to critical care and then after a whole day of stabilising them the descision is made to withdraw care. The whole time I was there I felt like I never really accomplished much. (mayb a little over the top) I must say though with good colleges it can be a lovely place to work. Very busy and heavy though!

Now I sometimes like to volunteer to take the older patients because even if they have some dementia or confusion I really enjoy spending time with them... on a full time basis, never again! Although I'm known as the nurse who is a confused patient specialist!

Good luck though; you're the type of person that the elderly wards need, someone dedicated to older care and rehab. And about not being a real nurse? No way! Nurses who currently work in elderly care have my absolute respect. You will learn about every single ailment under the sun; and learn so much about drugs, there effects, differnet doses. You'll be an expert on dressings... and definatly people skills. Good luck!

thanks for all the great advice.

Mrs rn.....what part of mich are you from? I am in Southwest part.

nurserynurse55

Specializes in NICU.

:heartbeatNot true! I live in Southeast Michigan, "the Metro-Detroit and inner city" area and we respect ALL of our geriatric nurses. We need you and want you for LTC, home health and hospitals. Like what others have said, most of nursing is geriatrics except OB and PEDS.

Good Luck!

thanks for all the great advice.

mrs rn.....what part of mich are you from? i am in southwest part.

i'm in rochester hills :D

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