Working in outpatient and Geriatric inpatient care settings is an overwhelming task for a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). I have gained considerable experience while working as a registered nurse in acute care, Med-Surg, and psych inpatient. The skills have provided the necessary knowledge to work in my current roles and to improve my future work. The practice involves working with elderly patients suffering from various mental health challenges such as dementia and depression. It is significant to enhance patient care by changing several aspects of their care provision. The purpose of this assignment is to explore and reflect on geriatric inpatient to improve mental health of the elderly patient populations.
I have gained experience while working in various clinical settings as a registered nurse and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I have worked in acute care, Med-Surg, and psych inpatient. My current work in outpatient and geriatric inpatient unit is the actual source of experience in nursing and patient care. The geriatric inpatient unit provides evaluation, treatment, and management of medical conditions affecting individuals aged 60 years and above, including those with chronic illnesses. Such experience teaches the need to provide holistic and comprehensive care to aged patients (Ellis et al., 2017). Nurses play an essential role in eradicating the disintegration of care that affects the outcomes of this aged patient population.
Various values, beliefs, and assumptions are associated with the geriatric inpatient care experience. The process involves understanding the importance of dedicated care to the aged patient population in a health care facility. Such patients require advanced care because of their fragility and medical needs. Their demands for care are higher than other patients’ needs in the same facility. Various assumptions characterize this patient population, such as the increased frailty of the aged patients, complex medical conditions, including chronic illnesses, mental health challenges, such as dementia and depression (Ellis et al., 2017). Nurses working in such settings have a significant burden of care compared with those working with younger patients. The work of nurses in geriatric inpatient unit can be tasking, but rewarding after patients’ outcomes are improved.
Ways of Knowing
Various approaches of “knowing” are essential in explaining the nursing experience, involving health care in a geriatric inpatient. One of the methods includes “personal knowing,” which is the understanding of the self and others in a relationship (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). In this case, the association is therapeutic between the patient and the care provider. The nurse should understand the self to comprehend healthcare issues and provide care to patients. In the management of care experience, nurses should have personal knowledge to realize the needs of the elderly patients receiving care in their medical facilities and plan their care provision strategies to improve health outcomes. Therefore, nurses should develop a high level of “personal knowing” capability to support care management processes.
Empirical knowledge is the second way of “knowing” that relates to the nursing experience in health care. The model of knowledge refers to the science of nursing (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). The aspect involves the collection of empirical evidence to support various health care processes. The experience emanates from accurate observation and record-keeping, which support processes in geriatric inpatient care. Nurses should apply science and empirically-based methodologies to collect the necessary evidence to support care management among aged patients. The model assumes that objective data exists when dealing with whichever patient issue that confronts nurses and other health care providers.
The future of health care delivery, especially in geriatric inpatient care depends on the role of the PMHN in understanding the unique needs of elderly patients. The professional experience is necessary to enhance patients’ health while reducing the demands on nurses and other care providers through improved patient outcomes. Therefore, nursing professionals should apply various approaches of “knowing” to improve geriatric care. Firstly, nurses should develop personal knowledge and the ability to understand the self and others (Will, 2016). The “way of knowing” will help them to develop the required competence to improve health care delivery in the future. Professionals will emerge with the necessary understanding about themselves, the care setting, and patients, especially aged patients.
Secondly, the provision of quality and safe care to the most aged patients with diverse needs requires adequate empirical evidence on the effectiveness of interventions. For example, nurses faced with the case of an elderly patient with dementia should collect sufficient evidence to support the efficacy of a care plan. The future nurses should develop their competence in research to identify issues related to health care and formulate evidence-supported solutions (Johansen & O’Brien, 2016). Therefore, the health professional should design support for collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts to improve healthcare and patient outcomes.
Overall, nurses have various professional experiences that affect their work and outcomes, including safety and quality of care provided to their patients. An example of such experience includes the provision of care to inpatients in geriatric units who suffer from diverse medical needs due to the aging process. The experience is received from various “ways of knowing,” including personal experience as well as from empirics.