The September/October 2002 issue of the journal Health Affairs features an article outlining an impending crisis in health care for older adults and the great need for expanded education in geriatrics for all health care professionals. The authors, Christine Tassone Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN, Mathy Mezey, RN, EdD, FAAN, and Charlene Harrington, PhD, RN, FAAN, of The John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University, make the case that two demographic trends are converging to create conditions for inadequate care for older adults: the aging of the baby-boom generation and the shortage of health care workers --particularly nursing. The authors assert that geriatrics needs to join pediatrics as a required element of training the next generation of health care professionals.
Adults over age 65 use about three times as many hospital days as those persons ages 55 to 64, and, in 1999 they made an average of 10.5 ambulatory care visits, compared with 6.4 visits for those under 65. Older adults are also more likely to have chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, and urinary incontinence than younger people. There is much evidence that nurses trained in geriatric syndromes are able to provide a higher quality of care to this population. Yet fewer than one percent of the 2.2 million RNs in the United States are certified in geriatrics. The article emphasizes that, "all programs in nursing and medicine...have required pediatric rotations, but a similar commitment to geriatrics has yet to emerge."
The lack of nurses trained in geriatrics is a reflection of the nursing education system, according to the article. In 1999, only 4 percent of the nation's 670 nursing programs leading to the bachelor's degree met all criteria for exemplary geriatrics education, such as a course in geriatrics, two or more placement sites in geriatrics, or at least one full-time faculty member trained in geriatricsPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Elaine Gould
New York University
. The Gerontological Society of America announces Hartford Fellowship recipients2
. Eight New Hartford doctoral fellows in Geriatric Social Work selected3
. Eunice Park named a 2003 Hartford Doctoral Fellow4
. Dooley and Gardner named Hartford Doctoral Fellows in geriatric social work5
. Hartford Institute/AACN award honors nursing schools for innovative gerontology education6
. Hartford Institute/AACN award honors nursing schools for innovative gerontology
. Hartford Institute sponsors SNAPP initiative to bring best practices to
. The Lancet calls for the creation of a world institute for risk evaluation9
. OHSU vaccine and gene therapy institute receives $3.5 million for AIDS vaccine research10
. Federal institutes and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation create Tobacco Use Research Centers11
. Twelve scholars to receive support to strengthen the field of geriatric social work