How to Be Geriatric Nursing Assistant - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

Being a geriatric nursing assistant requires a unique set of skills and understanding. The elderly often have special needs, and the assistant must be able to cater to those needs with patience, empathy, and excellent communication skills. They must also have a good knowledge of anatomy and physiology, be able to use medical terminology, and understand basic pharmacology.

In addition, they must be able to assess a patient's condition, administer medications, and monitor vital signs. Being a geriatric nursing assistant is often a challenging but rewarding profession. It requires a great deal of patience, understanding, and commitment in order to provide quality care to elderly patients.

In turn, it can lead to improved quality of life for those patients, as well as enhanced job satisfaction for the assistant.

Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a high school diploma or GED. The first step to becoming a Geriatric Nursing Assistant is to earn a high school diploma or GED. This demonstrates that you have the basic academic skills needed to pursue a career in nursing.
  2. Participate in a nursing assistant training program. Most states require that Geriatric Nursing Assistants complete an approved nursing assistant training program. These programs are usually offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and healthcare facilities. The programs include both classroom and clinical instruction, and last between 3-6 months.
  3. Complete certification. After completing the training program, you must obtain certification as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant. This involves passing an exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
  4. Obtain licensure. In some states, Geriatric Nursing Assistants must obtain a license from the State Board of Nursing. This requires passing an exam and meeting certain educational and experience requirements.
  5. Find a job. Once you have obtained your certification and/or licensure, you can begin looking for a job as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant. You can search for jobs in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health agencies.

The need for reliable and capable geriatric nursing assistants is increasing as the population ages. As life expectancy increases, more elderly individuals are living longer, requiring more specialized care. This increased demand for geriatric nursing assistants can be attributed to several factors.

Firstly, the elderly often require more assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and managing medications. Secondly, they often require specialized care in order to manage chronic medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis. Finally, they require emotional support as they cope with the changes that aging brings.

As a result of these needs, geriatric nursing assistants must be reliable and capable in order to provide the best care possible. This means they must have knowledge and experience in providing care to the elderly, as well as the ability to handle challenging situations. They must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to build relationships with their patients and provide emotional support.

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Job Description

  1. Provide direct personal care to elderly patients, such as bathing, dressing, transferring, and grooming
  2. Assist elderly patients in performing activities of daily living, such as eating and exercising
  3. Assist with mobility, ambulation, and positioning of elderly patients
  4. Monitor vital signs and report any changes to the nursing staff
  5. Assist in developing and implementing individualized care plans
  6. Participate in the development of patient care plans and other health care documents
  7. Instruct patients and family members regarding proper care techniques
  8. Administer medications and treatments as directed by the nursing staff
  9. Provide emotional support and encouragement to elderly patients
  10. Document patient progress, treatments, and medications in patient records

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Ability to assist elderly patients with activities of daily living (ADLs).
  2. Knowledge of common medical conditions related to the aging process.
  3. Ability to provide basic nursing care, including vital signs measurement.
  4. Understanding of safety protocols and emergency procedures.
  5. Ability to help patients with mobility, transfers, and ambulation.
  6. Knowledge of therapeutic exercises and physical activities to improve mobility and strength.
  7. Good communication and interpersonal skills to interact with elderly patients and their families.
  8. Ability to provide emotional support to elderly patients.
  9. Ability to follow instructions from a licensed nurse or physician.
  10. Ability to recognize signs of physical and mental decline in elderly patients.
  11. Ability to properly document care provided to elderly patients.
  12. Knowledge of relevant ethical standards for working with elderly patients.

Being a Geriatric Nursing Assistant requires a unique set of skills and qualities. The most important skill to have is empathy, as this is essential in providing quality care to elderly patients. Being able to empathize with the patient and understand their needs is essential in providing the highest possible level of care.

having strong communication and interpersonal skills is important in order to effectively interact with both the patient and their family. Being organized and reliable is also necessary, as this helps to ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner. Finally, having a good understanding of the various medications and treatments that are available for elderly patients is crucial in providing the best possible care.

With these skills, a Geriatric Nursing Assistant can make a huge difference in the lives of their elderly patients.

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Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in providing care for geriatric patients?
  • How do you handle challenging behaviors from elderly patients?
  • What strategies do you use to ensure the safety of elderly patients?
  • How do you respond when a patient has difficulty understanding instructions or directions?
  • Describe your experience in administering and monitoring medications.
  • How do you go about building trust and rapport with geriatric patients?
  • What techniques do you use to encourage and motivate elderly patients to participate in activities?
  • How do you handle disagreements or conflicts with patients and their families?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to provide emotional support to a patient or their family members.
  • What strategies do you use to keep yourself and the elderly patients safe in the nursing home environment?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Geriatric Mobility Aids. Assist elderly patients with their mobility needs, such as walkers, wheelchairs, canes, and scooters. (eg: helping an elderly patient to safely get out of bed with a walker)
  2. Assistive Technology. Utilize assistive technology, such as speech recognition software, magnifiers, and computerized aids, to help elderly patients with daily tasks. (eg: helping an elderly patient learn how to use a speech recognition program to communicate)
  3. Medication Management. Provide medication reminders and assistance with dosage and administration of medications. (eg: assisting an elderly patient with their daily medication schedule)
  4. Cognitive Stimulation Activities. Engage elderly patients in cognitive stimulation activities, such as puzzles and word games, to help maintain and improve brain function. (eg: playing a word game with an elderly patient to stimulate their brain)
  5. Social Interaction. Promote social interaction between elderly patients and their family members, caregivers, and other healthcare professionals. (eg: facilitating a conversation between an elderly patient and their family members)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. National Association of Geriatric Nursing Assistants (NAGNA)
  2. American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC)
  3. National Council of Certified Geriatric Care Managers (NCCGMC)
  4. American Association of Directors of Nursing Services (AADNS)
  5. National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAHC)
  6. National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
  7. Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA)
  8. American Hospital Association (AHA)
  9. American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  10. American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)

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Common Important Terms

  1. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Activities that are necessary for a person’s daily functioning and self-care, such as bathing, dressing, eating, using the bathroom, and transferring from one place to another.
  2. Gerontology. The scientific study of aging and older adults, including physical, psychological, and social changes that occur with age.
  3. Geriatric Care. The care of elderly individuals, including those with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and other age-related conditions.
  4. Functional Assessment. An evaluation of an older adult's abilities to perform activities of daily living independently.
  5. Cognitive Impairment. A decline in cognitive abilities such as memory, language, problem solving, or judgment.
  6. Mobility. The ability to move around independently and safely.
  7. Fall Prevention. Strategies used to reduce the risk of falls in older adults, including physical therapy, assistive devices, and environmental modifications.
  8. Assisted Living. A type of senior housing that provides assistance with activities of daily living and health care services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average salary of a Geriatric Nursing Assistant?

The average salary of a Geriatric Nursing Assistant is approximately $27,000 per year.

What qualifications are needed to become a Geriatric Nursing Assistant?

To become a Geriatric Nursing Assistant, you must typically possess a high school diploma or GED and have completed an accredited nursing assistant program.

What duties does a Geriatric Nursing Assistant perform?

As a Geriatric Nursing Assistant, you may be responsible for providing hands-on care to elderly patients, such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and transferring them. You may also be responsible for checking vital signs and reporting any changes in the patient’s condition to the supervising nurse.

What skills are needed to be successful as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant?

To be successful as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant, you must possess excellent interpersonal skills, have the ability to handle multiple tasks efficiently, and have good problem-solving skills. You should also be able to demonstrate compassion and patience when caring for elderly patients.

How do I become certified as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant?

To become certified as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant, you must pass an exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. You must also complete a minimum of 75 hours of training in geriatric nursing, which can include classroom instruction, clinical experience, and supervised practice.

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