Saturday, April 9, 2011
Adults age 65 and older make up at least 15% of emergency department visits, and have longer lengths of emergency department stay, as well as poorer post-discharge outcomes, than the general population. At the same time, most nursing baccalaureate programs do not require coursework in geriatric care. Does this imply a gap between training and practice, or are emergency nurses equipped with the knowledge to work with older adults? The Journal of Emergency Nursing published an article that surveyed nurses at one large California hospital (Roethler et al 2011) on geriatric knowledge and self-perception of nurse ability to work with older adults, which suggests that there may in fact be a knowledge gap.