Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Nursing Care in the Geriatric Population

1872 Words Jul 11th, 2013 8 Pages
Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Geriatric Nursing Care
Angelia F. Russell
University of Massachusetts Boston

Author Note This paper was prepared for Nursing 360, Section 06D, taught by Professor Peterson.

The geriatric patient population is not only increasing in numbers and longevity, but also in the complexity of their health care issues and needs. On the raise as well are the barriers and prejudices with caring for the aging population amongst healthcare providers. It is these barriers and prejudices that hinder healthcare providers to want to take the initiative to improve care for the aging. Preservation of our elder patient population’s dignity should be of the upmost importance. In order to
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Fox wrote (2013), “meager wages, lack of recognition…deter the novice professional nurse from pursuing careers in LTC” (p. 52). It not only deters the nurse, but also the other healthcare professions. Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies cap what is spent in the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. Also, capped as well are the lengths of stays in a rehabilitation centers, hospitals and services through a VNA. Very few providers can afford to specialize and treat just the elder population.

The nurses that are trained and educated in geriatrics are reversely disproportionate to the raising elder population. These nurses are aging and will be entering that elder population. Few nurses and advanced degree nurses are entering into geriatric programs. Fewer nursing and medical schools are offering advanced degrees in geriatrics or classes in geriatric care. All this combined lead to the insufficient numbers of providers trained in geriatrics.

It has been said that health and health care affects, “our opportunity to pursue life goals, reduces our pain and suffering, prevents premature loss of life, and provides information needed to plan our lives” (Benjamin, 2009). Not all have equal opportunity or the financial opportunities to obtain and/or maintain health care. With the recession, the raising cost of

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