Role of nurse in acute elderly ward

Nurses General Nursing



I am really interested in getting a job in an acute elderly ward.

I've just finished my training and I had a care of the aged placement.

I am at the stage of filling out an application form.

Any tips / advice on the main role of a nurse in this acute envirnment as my placement was not acute.

All answers welcomed!



The nurse-patient ratio in geriatrics is not as good as it should be. Where I am, it is 1 nurse/ 40 patients, with 3-4 aides. Elderly sick people need alot of slow 1:1 care, but you will have to work really fast to get it all done. It will take a while but you will get to know your patients and you will develop a system.:)

Thanks for that insight.

Would you say this is the most challenging aspect of the job?


I have worked with the elderly and found that having to depend so heavily on nursing assistants was the hardest part of the job.

There were 3 CNAs who were excellent. If they were teamed with me, I could be sure my patients were getting the best care possible.

Another group was okay. I had to supervise them a lot more.

The third group existed in theory, but it seemed that they spent a lot of the day on coffee runs, smoke breaks, meal breaks, and phone time. I would struggle if they were assigned my patients.

"The nurse-patient ratio in geriatrics is not as good as it should be. Where I am, it is 1 nurse/ 40 patients, with 3-4 aides"

To me, it sounds like the person who wrote this was in a long-term care center/nursing home/assisted living. I'm not sure if that is what you are applying for. I would guess the staff ratio would be much different if it is in a special ward of a hospital, vs. a section of a long-term care center.


thanks for that.

i am applying for work in an acute elderly setting which I know will be really challenging. Do you work in this area?

Do you work in this area?

I am in Washington State close to Seattle. I don't know which area you're in. When in Spokane I worked a little in long-term care and then in assisted living. Have never worked in a hospital but read advertisements about acute care of the elderly ward in a hospital. Ruth

I forgot to mention, which shift are you applying for? If it's night shift, keep in mind that that can be a dangerous time for falls among the elderly if the staff aren't on top of it. Even those who are normally oriented can become a little confused at night in a different setting than they're used to. They may try to get out of bed to the bathroom and not realize they're not at home.

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