Being a nurse is not just a career; it is a passion. It’s a position where you have the privilege to care for people every shift, every day. It’s a role that entails commitment, kindness, and plenty of perseverance. Being a nurse is not for everyone – some say it’s for angels, and some call them angels in scrubs.
One type of nurse that can have an incredible impact on her patients is a geriatric nurse. A geriatric nurse is dealing with a patient who often will not have many visitors. This nurse may sometimes be the only person the patient will see all day. So yes, a geriatric nurse definitely has the ability to make a difference.
Are you a geriatric nurse who is interested in doing your best to better the lives of your patients? Then you’ll appreciate these tips for geriatric nurses! Some of these tips are of the practical sort, and some are more about how to deal with patients as people. But if you’re a geriatric nurse and you’re aiming to help your patients however you can, you’ll appreciate these tips!
Choose Daily Living Aids
You probably know about incontinence pads, food thickeners, and grab bars, but there are some less known products that are extremely helpful for seniors and their caregivers. For instance, some seniors have a difficult time swallowing pills. There are pill crushers, which crush the pill so that it’s much easier for the patient to digest. There are also eye drop openers, which clip onto most eye drop bottles, and guide the eye drops so that they land in the right place. Check out a medical supplies store to find more such innovative products that make caring for a senior easier.
Use KY Jelly
As a geriatric nurse, you know about uncomfortable situations. They happen, and you get through it. But here’s a tip that can make the situation just a bit less tedious sometimes: Use shaving cream to get dried feces off the patient’s skin. Try it, you’ll see: it really works!
Be Careful About Medications
If you notice a patient is acting differently, or if any kind of symptom arises, the first culprit that comes to mind should always be medications. Figure out if the patient started taking anything different recently; new symptoms can be side effects.
Schedule Auto Reorders
To make things simpler, you may want to create “auto re-orders.” An “auto reorder” is basically a subscription that would have your products reordered at regular intervals, so that you will never run out of your essential products again! This is very convenient if your patient needs you to order certain items for them on a steady basis. For instance, many caregivers place auto reorders for incontinence items, so that instead of going out and buying them or remembering to order them every time they run low, the products are delivered to the patient’s door like clockwork.
Seniors don’t always work so quickly, and oftentimes, they know it. They don’t mean to work so slowly, and when a caregiver shows impatience, it can really bother them. Instead of being frustrated, do what you can to help the person complete the task more quickly, and if the patient doesn’t want assistance, wait calmly and as patiently as you can. Try to never voice frustration or anger when a patient is working too slowly for your nerves to handle.
Old people are individuals with lots of life experience. They may look feeble, but they deserve respect just like anyone else! Find qualities to respect in your patient, and compliment him for them. He’ll feel good, and be so happy to be respected.
Being a geriatric nurse may have its challenges, but it can be so rewarding if you remember that you are a huge force in someone’s life. Make their day a happier one by doing your best to help them, and treat them how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes!