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Aged Care Nursing Courses
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Aged Care Nursing Courses overview
Aged care nursing is about catering to the unique needs of elderly patients in hospitals or residents of nursing homes. They regularly take notes on the health of those under their care to better serve them. Postgraduate study provides registered nurses with the specialised knowledge to understand relevant conditions, such as proper management of dementia.
Caring for the elderly was traditionally done by immediate family or the local community in ancient societies. Shorter lifespans and poor health conditions were partially due to lack of medical knowledge and sanitation; conditions that are easily cured or treated nowadays were death sentences just centuries ago.
Modern aged care nurses help clients have a comfortable, long life to the best of their abilities. They provide compassion tempered with expert knowledge to ensure elderly people are content in latter years.
Is aged care nursing for me?
Aged care nursing requires a commitment to helping others through extensive health training, as with other nursing specialisations. It requires a great deal of persistence to become an aged care nurse, but for those willing to put in the hard work, it can be a highly rewarding profession.
Aged care nursing can be taken up to master level, with graduate certificates and diplomas also being available.
Graduate certificates take six months of full time study to complete, or up to one year part time. Institutions like Flinders University provide these courses to health graduates with a desire to learn about clinical gerontology, psychological dimensions of ageing and more within a practical context. This makes them an ideal way to gain a footing in the profession.
Graduate diplomas are slightly more comprehensive, taking one year of full time study to complete or up to two years part time. Entry requirements are similar to the certificate, with the certificate itself being a potential method of entry. In addition to the practical skills acquired in a graduate certificate, students can choose from a large variety of electives, including units in:
- Health science research methods
- Palliative care for indigenous populations
- Healthy ageing
- Palliative clinical management
- Best practice in dementia care
- Understanding cancer
Master level programs take two years of full time study to complete and up to four years part time. They often consist of an intricate research project in addition to course traditionally undergone in lower programs. The topic of these depends on student choice and approval from their supervisor. This makes them not only a great way into the world of aged care nursing, but also postgraduate research.
The employment prospects for this field are similar to those of other nursing professions. In other words, they’re very good. Government statistics show that registered nurses are in a field of very high growth, high employment prospects and lower unemployment. They can find work in clinics, hospitals and residential facilities all over the country making the lives of the elderly and their families far easier.
The Nurses in Management - Aged Care group, or NIMAC for short, is an excellent resource for aspiring and current aged care nurses. It provides ample networking opportunities and the chance to learn more about the profession. This can lead to fruitful future employment.
Aged care facilities can be sought for employment around the country. Places like Holmwood in Victoria, Alzheimer's Queensland or Arcare in NSW are all organisations that are tailored to serving the same needs as aspiring aged care workers from these programs.