5 Nursing Tips to Care for Geriatric Patients in the Emergency Room

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Being an ER nurse, you are possibly to face situations and difficulties while practicing Geriatric Nursing. In geriatric care, the type of treatment given to the patients is quite different from the usual adult patients. There will be patients who are obviously in old age, may not be able to sit, stand or walk properly, and might be suffering from low vision, poor memory or even unhappier ones that a geriatric nurse has to deal with. Thus, in this article, we are going to share some useful nursing tips for caring geriatric patients in the most sublime ways.

Break up the silence

Talk and break up the silence that’s been pondering around since hours in the Emergency Room. Those geriatric patients might just need some genuine humane interaction. You can do so by asking few things about their personal life, their view points or their likes, such as –

  • What do your children do?
  • What you did for a living?
  • Since how long you two have been married.
  • Tell me something about your favorite music.
  • Do you really like what technology can do these days?
  • Is there anything you want me to do for you other than what I usually do?

A gentle approach will always work in dosage of medications

While administering the medications of drug classes like narcotics and benzodiazepines to patients in emergency room, a normal dose might prove to be dangerous to these class of patients as it reacts differently in different genre of patients. Go with a gentle approach with dosage according to the condition of the patient.

Their skin is thin and fragile. Be gentle

When people age, their skin looks fragile that means even a small puncture with a needle might result in a serious wound that might not heal quite soon. Thus, when you need to draw blood or start an IV, try to be gentle by using a paper tape in place of a silk tape to patch on their skin surface.

Make them feel a little cozy by giving a blanket

In a medical facility, it is generally centrally cooled all around. However, geriatric patients feel a bit sensitive to cooler environment especially in the emergency room. Giving a warm blanket is just another way of letting them know that you really care, and will do everything to make them feel comfortable.

Do you think if they really need an 18G IV?

There’s an 85-year old man and obviously, his skin as said above is fragile. You need to select the IV gauge size wisely for the geriatric patients. However, sometimes it is essential to go with large sized IV bore in critical patients; thus, you need to ask yourself if they really need to have such a large IV. If yes, then use it with caution and go slow.

We know that there are a lot more tips geriatric nurses know while caring these patients. If you know some, we would be happy if you share them here.

For those nursing newbies, if you want to learn about Gerontology specialty and Gerontology nursing program you can visit www.inscol.com


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