National Gerontological Nursing week is celebrated November 21st through the 28th. Gerontological Nursing is the specialized care of older adults in the medical field. Over the years, this field is expected to grow as life-expectancy rates rise in numbers and the patients defined as eligible for this type of care expands. This aspect makes gerontological nursing care increasingly important. Gerontological nursing includes a wide scope of educational practices, along with the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, or GAPNA. GAPNA is an organization that continues the educational conferences used by Gerontological nurses and other nurses who care for older adults, like Geriatrics.
Gerontology and Geriatrics
Gerontology often gets mixed up with the field of Geriatrics, and while both these fields involve most of the same practices and studies, there are several important differences between them. Geriatrics centers around the medicine and physical care of the older patients, and how they can improve those services; however, Gerontology focuses on the more scientific side of medical care for the elderly, such as:
- Changes in a patient as they age
- How the aging process affects others around the patient
- Economic and social impacts of aging
- The accommodations of the older population in a community
While these fields are different, they do support one another, as Gerontology looks to Geriatrics for medical information to help complete a study or practice.
The results found in Gerontology affect how older patients are treated in a facility, what their living conditions are, and the special care given to certain elderly individuals. All aspects of Gerontology are critical to reaching the quality of care needed for older adults, and it directly affects the Geriatric field and how they administer treatment and care for older patients.
Bisk Education. (2018). What’s the Difference Between Gerontology and Geriatrics?, Gerontologists and geriatricians differ in their approach to the elderly and how they ultimately contribute to the field of elder study and care. Retrieved from: https://www.valpoonline.com/resources/education/whats-the-difference-between-gerontology-and-geriatrics/#.W89HNWhKhPZ.
Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association. (2018). About GAPNA. Retrieved from: https://www.gapna.org/about-gapn.