Gerontological Nursing

Gerontological Nursing

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

1. Explain the different ways in which the elderly have been viewed throughout history.
2. Describe characteristics of today’s elderly population in regard to:
  1. life expectancy
  2. gender and race differences
  3. marital status
  4. living arrangements
  5. education
  6. acute and chronic illness
  7. causes of death
  8. health insurance coverage
3. Discuss projected changes in future generations of elderly people.
4. Discuss the change in focus regarding learning about factors influencing aging.
5. Discuss the change in focus regarding learning about factors influencing aging.
6. Describe the major psychosocial theories of aging.
7. Identify factors that promote a healthy aging process.
8. Describe unique views of health and healing among major ethnic groups.
9. Identify ways in which nursing care may need to be modified to accommodate persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
10. Discuss changes that occur in aging families.
11. List challenges faced by widows.
12. Outline the phases of retirement.
13. Discuss the impact of age-related changes on roles
14. Describe changes in one’s social world with aging.
15. List nursing measures to assist individuals in adjusting to the challenges of aging.
16. List common age-related changes to the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, immune, and inaugmentary systems, the sensory organs, and thermoregulation.
17. Describe psychological changes experienced with age.
18. Discuss risks and nursing considerations associated with age-related changes.
19. List landmarks that affected the development of gerontological nursing.
20. Discuss major roles in gerontological nursing.
21. Identify standards used in gerontological nursing practice.
22. List principles guiding gerontological nursing practice.
23. Explain holistic gerontological nursing care.
24. Describe needs of elders pertaining to the promotion of health and the management of health challenges.
25. List the requisites that influence elders’ abilities to meet self-care needs.
26. Describe the general types of interventions that are employed when elders present self-care deficits.
27. List legal risks in gerontological nursing practice and ways to minimize them.
28. Discuss ways to protect the legal rights of older adults.
29. List factors that have increased ethical dilemmas for nurses.
30. Discuss various philosophies regarding right and wrong.
31. Describe ethical principles guiding nursing practice.
32. Identify measures to help nurses make ethical decisions.
33. List major functions of gerontological nurses.
34. Describe various practice settings for gerontological nurses
35. Describe the continuum of services available to older adults.
36. Discuss factors that influence service selection for older adults.
37. List the attributes of a nurse healer.
38. Describe the meaning of presence.
39. Identify strategies that can be used for self-care and nurturing.
40. List factors that contribute to an individual’s unique body, mind, and spirit.
41. Describe measures that can be used to facilitate self-reflection.
42. List survivor competencies.
43. Discuss strategies to empower older adults.
44. Differentiate sexuality from sexual function.
45. Identify measures to manage menopausal symptoms.
46. List communication obstacles resulting from hearing and visual impairments.
47. Describe variables that affect socializations in late life.
48. List the effects of aging on sexual function.
49. Describe factors that can contribute to sexual dysfunction.
50. List factors that facilitate connections with others.
51. Describe basic spiritual needs
52. List questions that could be used for spiritual assessment.
53. Discuss measures to support spiritual needs.
54. List factors that can alter tissue perfusion.
55. Describe nursing measures that could improve circulation.
56. Describe measures to reduce risk of respiratory infection and other respiratory complications.
57. List age-related factors that affect dietary requirements in late life.
58. List the special nutritional needs of aging women.
59. Identify causative factors and signs of dehydration.
60. Describe oral health problems that could influence nutritional status and recommended oral hygiene for older adults.
61. Identify risks associated with the use of nutritional supplements.
62. Outline threats to good nutrition in late life and ways to minimize them.
63. Describe age-related changes that affect bladder and bowel elimination.
64. List nursing measures to promote voiding.
65. Describe nursing interventions to prevent and correct constipation.
66. List common signs of fecal impaction.
67. Discuss unique aspects of skin care in older adults.
68. Discuss the effects of fasting.
69. List the benefits of activity.
70. Discuss the challenges elders may face in maintaining an active state.
71. Describe the adjustments that may need to be made in exercise programs in late life.
72. List actions that could benefit an elder who has impaired mobility.
73. List differences between younger and older adults in sleep stages.
74. Describe nonpharmacological means to induce sleep.
75. Discuss health conditions that could cause altered sleep patterns.
76. Discuss schedule of activity and rest that could benefit elders.
77. List the body’s reaction to stress.
78. Describe approaches to reduce stress.
79. Describe the characteristics and scope of pain.
80. List the types of pain.
81. Describe the components of a comprehensive pain assessment.
82. Outline major complementary and alternative therapies useful in pain management.
83. Identify levels of analgesics used for various types of pain.
84. Describe comforting strategies.
85. List major changes in immunologic function as the result of aging.
86. Discuss natural approaches to boosting immunologic health.
87. Describe the risks associated with overuse and misuse of antibiotics.
88. Describe the effects of aging on safety.
89. Discuss the significance of the environment to physical and psychological health and well-being.
90. List the impact of age-related changes on the function and safety of the environment.
91. Describe adjustments that can be made to the environment to promote safety and function of older persons.
92. Identify bathroom hazards and ways to minimize them.
93. Discuss the effect of the environment on psychosocial health.
94. List measures to reduce the elderly’s risks to safety and well-being.
95. Describe safety aids that can be of benefit to the elderly.
96. Describe unique features of the common infections of older adults.
97. List factors that promote cardiovascular health.
98. Identify unique features of common cardiovascular health.
99. Describe nursing actions to assist patients with cardiovascular conditions.
100. List the impact of age-related changes on respiratory health.
101. Describe measures to facilitate respiratory health in the elderly.
102. Discuss the risks, symptoms and care considerations associated with selected respiratory illnesses.
103. List interventions that can aid in preventing complications and promoting self-care in older persons with respiratory conditions.
104. Describe the scope of gastrointestinal problems in the older population.
105. Discuss measures to promote gastrointestinal health.
106. List symptoms and management of selected gastrointestinal disorders.
107. List measures that promote good musculoskeletal function.
108. Describe factors contributing to symptoms of, and related nursing care for fractures, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and gout.
109. Discuss pain management measures.
110. Identify risks associated with musculoskeletal problems.
111. Describe measures to facilitate independence in persons with musculoskeletal problems.
112. List measures that promote genitourinary health.
113. Outline factors to consider in assessing genitourinary health.
114. Describe the incidence, symptoms, and management of selected genitourinary disorders.
115. Outline a care plan for the patient who is incontinent.
116. Discuss measures to promote a positive self-concept in the patient with a genitourinary disorder.
117. List risk factors for neurologic problems.
118. Identify signs and symptoms of neurologic disorders.
119. Describe the symptoms, unique features, and related nursing care for Parkinson’s disease, transient ischemic attacks, and cerebrovascular accidents.
120. Discuss actions that promote independence in persons with neurologic problems.
121. Describe measures to reduce the risk of injury.
122. Describe the importance of good sensory function and the impact of sensory deficits.
123. List measures to promote healthy sensory function.
124. Identify signs of and nursing interventions for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, detached retina, corneal ulcers, and hearing impairment.
125. List practices that promote good skin health.
126. Describe signs of and nursing care for pruritus, keratosis, seborrheic keratosis, malignant melanoma, stasis dermatitis, and pressure ulcer.
127. Discuss measures that help patients with skin problems feel normal.
128. Identify alternative therapies that promote good skin health.
129. Describe unique manifestations of diabetes in the elderly.
130. Outline a teaching plan for the older person with diabetes.
131. List symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
132. Describe lifestyle changes helpful in reducing elevated cholesterol levels.
133. Discuss the prevalence and risks of cancer in the elderly.
134. Describe reasons for cancer being more complex in the elderly.
135. List factors that increase the risk of caner.
136. Outline measures that can reduce the risk of cancer.
137. Describe risks of older adults receiving conventional caner treatment.
138. Discuss reasons for patients’ choice to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
139. List issues to be evaluated in the selection of CAM.
140. Discuss nursing considerations in caring for older patients with cancer.
141. Describe the realities of mental health and illness in late life.
142. List measures that enhance mental health for older adults
143. Differentiate delirium from dementia.
144. Identify factors that cause delirium.
145. Describe the progression of symptoms of dementia.
146. List causes of dementia.
147. Outline nursing actions for the patient with Alzheimer’s disease.
148. Describe the symptoms and care of the older person with depression.
149. Identify indications of suicidal thoughts.
150. Describe interventions to reduce anxiety.
151. Discuss the scope and signs of alcohol abuse in the elderly.
152. List reasons for hypochondriasis.
153. Identify factors to consider in monitoring psychotropic medications.
154. Describe factors that promote a positive self-concept.
155. Identify nursing actions to manage disruptive behavior.
156. Describe the unique aspects of a drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the aged.
157. List measures to promote safe drug use.
158. Describe alternatives to medications.
159. Discuss the scope of chronic conditions among the older population.
160. Differentiate between healing and curing.
161. List chronic care goals.
162. Outline components of assessment of chronic care needs.
163. Discuss approaches to maximize the benefits of conventional treatments.
164. Identify alternative therapies that could benefit chronically ill persons.
165. Discuss institutional care of the chronically ill.
166. Discuss the challenges of living with a disability.
167. Describe the principles of rehabilitative nursing.
168. List components of the assessment of activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living.
169. Identify positions for proper body alignment.
170. Describe types of range-of-motion exercises.
171. List considerations in the proper use of mobility aids.
172. Outline components of bowel and bladder training programs.
173. Describe measures to promote mental function.
174. Identify resources to assist in patients’ rehabilitation.
175. List measures to minimize risks faced by acutely ill older adults.
176. Describe risks and precautions for older patients undergoing surgery.
177. Describe common geriatric emergencies and related nursing actions.
178. Identify measures to reduce the risk of infection.
179. Discuss the importance of early discharge planning.
180. Describe factors that influence postdischarge outcomes.
181. Describe the development of long-term institutional care.
182. Discuss the problems resulting from the lack of a unique model for long-term care.
183. Identify major categories of standards described in regulations.
184. List various roles of nurses in long-term care facilities.
185. Describe hygiene, holism, and healing needs of facility residents.
186. List the various structures and functions of families.
187. Discuss various roles that family members can assume.
188. Describe classic family relationships.
189. Identify risks to caregivers and ways to reduce them.
190. Identify signs of elder abuse.
191. Discuss interventions to reduce family dysfunction.
192. Discuss the difficulty people have in facing death.
193. Describe the coping mechanisms people use in facing death and related nursing interventions.
194. List physical care needs of dying individuals and related nursing interventions.
195. Discuss ways in which nurses can support family and friends of dying individuals.
196. Describe efforts that advance gerontological nursing research.
197. List measures to educate caregivers.
198. Identify potential new roles for geronotological nurses.
199. Discuss measures to provide quality services while controlling health care costs.

Course Contents

Unit I. Understanding the Aging Experience
1 The Aging Population
The Aged Through History
Growth of The Older Population
Race and Gender Differences
Income and Employment
Health Status
Use of Resources
Impact of the Baby Boomers
2 Theories of Aging
Biological Theories
Psychosocial Theories
      Nursing Implications
  3 Diversity
      Black Americans
      Native Americans
      Jewish Americans
      Asian Americans
      Hispanic Americans
      Elderly Prisoners
      Nursing Considerations
  4 Life Transitions and Story
      Role Changes
      Awareness of Mortality
      Increasing Health Risks
      Reduced Income
      Shrinking Social World
      Life Story
  5 Common Aging Changes
      Changes to the Body
      Changes to the Mind
      Nursing Implications
Unit II. Foundations of Gerontological Nursing
  6 The Specialty of Gerontological Nursing
      Development of Gerontological Nursing
      Gerontological Nursing Roles
      Advanced Practice Nursing
      Evidence-Based Practice
      Principles Guiding Gerontological Nursing Practice
      Holistic Gerontological Care
  7 Holistic Model for Gerontological Care
      Health Promotion-Related Needs
      Health Challenges-Related Needs
      Requisites to Meet Needs
      Gerontological Nursing Interventions
      Examples of Application
  8 Legal Aspects of Gerontological Nursing
      Laws Governing Gerontological Nursing Practice
      Legal Risks Facing Nurses
      Legal Safeguards
  9 Ethics of Caring
      Changes Increasing Ethical Dilemmas for Nurses
      Philosophies Guiding Ethical Thinking
      Ethics in Nursing
      Ethical Dilemmas Facing Nursing
      Measures to Help Nurses Make Ethical Decisions
  10 Gerontological Nursing Practice Settings
      Role of Gerontological Nurses in Diverse Care Settings
      Practice Settings for Gerontological Nurses
      Preventive and Ancillary Services
      Supportive Services
      Partial and Intermittent Care Services
      Complete and Continuous Care Services
      Nonconventional Services
      Matching Services to Needs
  11 Self-Care for the Gerontological Nurse
      Gerontological Nurses Create Foundations for Healing
      Characteristics of Nurse Healers
      Self-Care and Nurturing
      Self-Care Is a Dynamic Process
Unit III. Fostering Connection and Gratification
  12 Connecting With Self
      Strengthening Inner Resources
      Menopause as a Journey to Inner Connection
  13 Connecting With Others
      Social Interaction and Nursing Intervention
      Sex and the Elderly
      Sexual Intercourse
      Sexual Dysfunction
      Facilitating Connections
Unit IV. Facilitating Physiological Balance
  15 Respiration and Circulation
      Tissue Health
      Effective Breathing
  16 Nutritional and Hydration
      Nutritional Needs of Elders
      Special Needs of Women
      Oral Health
      Nutritional Supplements
      Threats to Good Nutrition
  17 Elimination
      Bladder Elimination
      Bowel Elimination
      Excretion Through the Skin
      Elimination of Toxins via Fasting
  18 Movement
      Physical Activity
      Special Adjustments for the Elderly
      Mind-Body Connection
      Hazards of Inactivity
      Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
  19 Rest
      Sleep Disturbances
      Activity and Rest
      Pain Control
      Stress Management
  20 Comfort
      Pain—A Complex Phenomenon
      Types of Pain
      Pain Management
      An Integrative Approach to Pain Management
  21 Immunity
      The Immune System in Late Life
      Promoting Immunologic Health
  22 Risk Reduction
      Aging and Risks to Safety
      Impact of Environment
      Impact of Aging on Environmental Safety and Function
      Floor Coverings
      Sensory Stimulation
      Noise Control
Bathroom Hazards
      Psychosocial Considerations
      Reducing Risks
      Early Detection
      Risks Associated With Functional Impairment
      Safety Aids
Unit V. Selected Health Conditions
  23 Infections
      Common Infections
  24 Cardiovascular Conditions
      Facilitating Cardiovascular Health
      Cardiovascular Conditions
      General Nursing Considerations
      Complementary Therapies
  25 Respiratory Conditions
      Effects of Aging on Respiratory Health
      Facilitating Respiratory Health
      Selected Disorders
      Nursing Considerations
  26 Gastrointestinal Conditions
      Scope and Impact of Gastrointestinal Problems in Late Life
      Facilitating Gastrointestinal Health
      Selected Disorders
  27 Musculoskeletal Conditions
      Facilitating Musculoskeletal Function
      Selected Disorders
      Nursing Considerations
  28 Genitourinary Conditions
      Facilitating Genitourinary Health
      Selected Disorders
      Additional Nursing Considerations
  29 Neurologic Conditions
      Facilitating Neurologic Health
      Selected Disorders
      Nursing Interventions Related to Neurologic Problems
  30 Sensory Deficits
      Importance of Good Sensory Function
      Facilitating Optimal Sensory Function
      Visual Deficits and Related Nursing Interventions
      Hearing Deficits and Related Nursing Interventions
      Other Sensory Deficits and Related Nursing Interventions
  31 Dermatologic Conditions
      Facilitating Good Skin Status
      Selected Conditions
      Nursing Considerations
  32 Metabolic and Endocrine Conditions
  33 Cancer
      Aging and Cancer
      Cancer Risk Factors
      Nursing Considerations
  34 Conditions Affecting Mood and Cognition
      Aging and Mental Health
      Promoting Mental Heath
      Selected Conditions
      Nursing Considerations
Unit VI. Gerontological Care Issues
  35   Safe Medication Use
      Drugs Consumed by the Older Population
      Response of Older Adults to Drugs
      Promoting the Safe Use of Drugs
      Alternatives to Drugs
  36 Living in Harmony With Chronic Conditions
      Chronic Conditions and the Elderly
      Healing Versus Curing
      Chronic Care Goals
      Assessing Chronic Care Needs
      Maximizing Function
      Following the Course of Chronic Care
  37 Rehabilitative Care
      Living With Disability
      Rehabilitative Nursing
      Assessing Functional Capacity
      Proper Positioning
      Range-of-Motion Exercises
      Mobility Aids
      Bowel and Bladder Training
      Maintaining and Promoting Mental Function
      Resources for Rehabilitative Needs
  38 Acute Care
      Risks Associated With Hospitalization
      Surgical Care
      Infection Control
      Discharge Planning
  39 Nursing in Long-Term Care Facilities
      Development of Long-Term Institutional Care
      Facility Residents
      Facility Standards
      Nursing Responsibilities
      A New Model of Long-Term Care
  40 Family Caregiving
      Various Family Compositions
      Family Roles
      Family Dynamics
      Scope of Family Caregiving
      Protecting the Health of Patient and Caregiver
      Family Dysfunction
      Rewards of Caregiving
  41 End of Life Care
      Definitions of Death
      Family Experience With Mortality in the Past
      Family Experience With Mortality in the Present
      Supporting the Dying Individual
      Supporting Family and Friends
      Supporting Nursing Staff
  42 Challenges of the Future
      The Past, Present, and Future Status of Gerontological Nursing


"This course was very informative and  great to keep nurses up to date in gerontological nursing." - D.G., LVN, CA




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