In recent years, we have become increasingly more aware of how vital nurses are to the healthcare system. Although doctors decide on treatment plans and nursing tips, nurses help implement them best and ensure optimal care outcomes.
Although caring for all patients is vital, elderly patients often need it more. Caring for elderly patients can be a difficult task, even for the most seasoned nurses. Their physical and emotional needs are complex, and careful consideration is necessary to ensure recovery and well-being. If you’re new to geriatric care or want to know how to take better care of senior patients, consider the following nursing tips:
Implement The Newest Protocols:
When caring for older adults with diverse medical needs, you want to be sure you’re giving them the best treatment possible. Their condition can be delicate, and outdated procedures can harm them. As a nurse, you must stay updated with the best protocols and ensure elderly patients get the best treatment.
Obtaining a qualification that enables you to specialize in caring for older patients can help you become a better Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP). This will help you become familiar with the best practices and protocols for looking after aging patients. Completing an online AGACNP program is easy to complete alongside your job and can help you nurture specialized skills to care for your patients.
Pay attention to their mental health:
One key factor differentiating nurses from other healthcare professionals is their increased focus on the client’s holistic well-being. Nurses must be aware of their patient’s emotional states and keep them as positive and hopeful as possible. Moreover, nurses also need to ensure patients are comfortable throughout the treatment procedures and aren’t experiencing unnecessary pain, stress, and fear.
Although these rules apply to all patients, they can be much more important for older patients. Older patients generally experience greater anxiety. If left unchecked, this can have a significant impact on how they cope with pain and chronic medical conditions, making it harder for treatment to work. As a nurse working with older patients, it is imperative to monitor their emotional health at all times. If you notice that they’re experiencing emotional discomfort, getting them to share their concerns may be helpful.
Triangulate with all concerned parties:
One of the biggest factors to pay attention to when dealing with elderly clients is triangulation. Unless they’re very young or otherwise impaired, most patients can keep up with their care when discharged from a healthcare facility. However, elderly patients can have trouble maintaining their care when they’re not being supervised by a nurse 24/7. Apart from reduced mobility and vitality, they may experience other mental impairments, such as fogginess, memory issues, depression, and more.
Because of these reasons, your elderly patients may not be able to comply with treatments at home. Triangulation with their caretakers can help you ensure they get the best care even when you aren’t around to monitor them. Moreover, it can help you develop a better picture of their condition when they’re not under supervised care.
Additionally, nurses need to triangulate with their patient’s doctors too. This can help nurses figure out the best ways to implement the treatments and can also help you give doctors necessary updates.
Patients often feel that medical jargon is too confusing. Despite the doctor’s best attempts, they may be unable to understand what’s happening. They may have many questions regarding the condition, the treatments, and any developments along the way. It’s important to communicate mindfully so your patients can understand their medical condition properly and follow instructions.
Mindful communication is even more important for elderly patients who may be receiving end-of-life care. There can, understandably, be several questions they have and a lot of uncertainty. As a nurse, you must act as the bridge between patients and their doctors and ensure both parties can communicate and understand each other.
Provide dignified care:
Although a natural process, aging can often be harsh on the body and the mind, and older patients often go through the worst. These patients may find it difficult to perform tasks that were previously simple and may feel that they have increasingly less control over their bodies and mind. This can be incredibly debilitating and stressful. Moreover, as these patients lose control over their bodies and mind, many procedures can feel invasive and undignified.
Your patients may need help dressing, washing, going to the bathroom, eating, and more. When providing these services, it’s imperative to keep the process as dignified as possible. You can do this by recognizing where they need support and where you need to let them exercise their independence. Being empathetic and compassionate can help elderly patients ease into the process of having a caretaker around to help them, eventually making them more receptive to your treatment.
Taking care of older patients may seem like a lot, but at the end of the day, it is about maintaining their respect and dignity and being mindful of their needs. By communicating effectively, you can ensure your patients have the smoothest possible recovery. Even if you’re providing end-of-life care, these nursing tips can help make the process as comfortable for your clients as possible.