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Geriatric Nursing?



I would love some insights from nurses who work in the geriatric field whether that be at a long-term care facility, at a clinic or in home health. In high school I put in many hours at a Nursing Home / Rehab Facility as a volunteer and I loved it - so many of the residents seemed lonely and just wanted someone to talk to for hours (which i was all for). I majored in Health Studies (which is similar to Public Health - a lot of tall about health inequity and social determinants of health, but nothing really "clinical" or scientific besides an epidemiology class). Then I served a year with AmeriCorps at an Adult Day Health facility and that was my first exposure to the nitty-gritty of caring for older adults. I was trained on site to use a gait belt, transfer clients, use a SaraLift machine, assist with eating, toiling, etc. It was a very high-paced environment and honestly quite stressful but I learned so much. I've been currently working as a Home Care Aide with just one client which is a peace of cake when compared to the work I did with AmeriCorps. I just applied to a nursing program and am waiting to hear back.

Based on my background and how well I "click" with older adults, I really do want to specialize in geriatrics but I would also appreciate some honest feedback from nurses about what to expect and what my options are. Thanks in advance!

Sorry, *piece* of cake. Writing too late at night!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

would also appreciate some honest feedback from nurses about what to expect and what my options are.

Hi CarolynB! Welcome to AN.com!

It sounds like you've done your homework and know your way around providing direct care to the geriatric population.

I've worked in geriatric psych predominately for the past 14 years and have enjoyed it. Having some medical background, the geriatric population keeps me interested. This area could also be good for a new grad.

Good luck to you, CarolynB!

Oh-BTW: You can use the EDIT button at the bottom of your post to change anything you want.

audreysmagic, RN

Specializes in Psych, Peds, Education, Infection Control. Has 15 years experience.

Geri psych will keep you on your toes! It's good work, especially if you like older folks. And good background for LTC, too, because you see a lot of those same issues on LTC floors. I'd recommend it to a new grad over going straight into LTC, as the staffing ratio can be high but is not nearly as intense as a LTC floor. Some geropsych facilities take a wide range of medical issues and some don't, depending on their capabilities; definitely research where you're going, so you know! Some of my most memorable and colorful psych patients have been on the gero units, as well as some of the most wonderful stories they've told of their youth in lucid moments. A lot of them sadly have no one, so it is a place you can feel like you make a difference.

quiltynurse56, LPN, LVN

Specializes in LTC and Pediatrics. Has 3 years experience.

Geriatrics is great. You get to know the patient and you do make a difference in their lives. Many become like family. It also can take a lot of patience too. Those of us who work it, love it and those who don't love it, would do better in another setting as this is not for them.

I loved working in a LTC/STR facility! I got to know the LTC residents really well as both a CNA and an RN, and I really enjoyed the time I spent with most of them. LTC gets a bad rap, because honestly, it's tough. Many facilities are stretched thin for staff, so nurses and aides have very high patient ratios, with sometimes high acuity patients. Depending on the facility, nurses may be foregoing traditional "nursing assessments" because they have to pass large amounts of medications to 15+ residents, and there just isn't enough time in the day. I really enjoyed working in the STR portion because I got the best of both worlds; elderly people who were rehabbing from their time in the hospital and were heading home soon. I gained acute care experience from many of these residents, and I think it really helped me in my pursuit of a hospital position. I still get many elderly patients in the rural hospital that I work at , and I thoroughly enjoy most of them!


Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 5 years experience.

Sounds like you'd be a good fit in a LTC facility. Good luck!