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What is an Aged Care Nurse?

What is an Aged Care Nurse?
Photo: What is an Aged Care Nurse?

An aged care nurse is primarily concerned with providing care to elderly people.  Aged care nurses typically work in nursing homes, residential facilities, hospitals or through a home care service.

Aged care is one area of nursing that will keep on growing as Australia faces a larger and larger aging population over the next 20 to 30 years.  This means that skilled aged care nurses will always be in demand and this sector of nursing can be a good career option.

Aged care nurses cover a variety of duties during each shift.  Registered nurses may give medication to patients (or residents as they’re called in nursing homes), they also observe each patient they’re in charge of, change dressings, check their patient's vitals as well as making sure everything is okay with each individual patient and liaising with the patient’s doctor.
Registered nurses can direct carers (workers who lift patients and attend to their personal needs such as bathing and dressing) and enrolled nurses to undertake  particular duties as necessary.

Like other nurses, aged care nurses document everything they do in a shift.  That means writing down which patients they’ve attended to, how that patient seems, what their temperature reading was and all the other tasks they complete each day.

Aged care nurses also deal with admissions.  So when a new resident checks in to the nursing home, the nurse will deal with the paperwork, show the resident to their room and help them settle in.

Family liaison is another task that aged care nurses undertake.  When a resident first moves into a nursing home, there may be a settling in period and that resident may need support from their family and the staff of the nursing home in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for the new resident.  At times there may be problems and issues that new or even established residents face, and that’s when having a nurse skilled in family liaison can be very helpful for the resident.

Not only does the resident need support when dealing with a problem at the nursing home, but their family may need support as well to help understand their relative’s fears or concerns.  A skilled aged care nurse can help the resident and the resident’s family in helping to solve the problem and making sure that everyone is happy with the outcome.

As you can see, aged care nurses undertake a wide variety of duties during their day.  Not only do they directly care for the residents, but they also deal with paperwork and take care of any problems that crop up during their shift.  Being an aged care nurse can be a very satisfying career option if you are empathetic to the needs of the elderly.

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