2021 could be the most challenging – and rewarding – year for geriatric nurses

No one could have predicted that 2020 would have brought a global pandemic which stopped life in its tracks and pushed healthcare systems around the world to the brink. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially difficult for geriatric nurses as the virus has disproportionately impacted the elderly in populations around the world.

Care workers in residential homes, geriatric nurses, and other healthcare providers and staff have all been severely impacted by the pandemic. As the new year begins, there are reasons to hope that it will be a rewarding year for geriatric nurses, albeit a year filled with challenges.

Hitting the ground running

2021 has begun with spikes in COVID-19 around the world following the holiday season when families and friends inadvisably gathered together. Although hospitals, clinics, and care homes have been ramping up their facilities and intake abilities over the course of 2020, it still remains that many health care centers and facilities are strained and are over-capacity every day. In most countries around the world, the COVID-19 transmission rates are climbing, and now many laypeople are growing weary of lockdowns and safety measures and may soon begin riskier behaviors like attending mass gatherings.

New variants enter the fray

Another challenge facing the medical community is the fact that new variants or strains of COVID-19 have begun to emerge. At first, it was a more easily transmissible strain which was found in London, now there are reports of a second strain discovered in South Africa which may or may not be resistant to some of the vaccines.

As new strains continue to emerge, the race is on to vaccinate huge swathes of the global population as quickly as possible. New variants are likely to continue to emerge as more people carry and pass on the virus, allowing for the possibility of mutation. This will be a continuing issue and challenge until a great majority of the population is vaccinated, and potentially even afterwards, if the virus continues to mutate so rapidly.

The training you need for the year ahead

It is likely that 2021 will be a difficult year for geriatric nurses as the pandemic continues to strain healthcare systems around the world, and as the elderly continue to be at risk. One of the best ways to prepare for the vicissitudes of the upcoming year is to improve your skillset and hone your abilities as a gerontological nurse practitioner.

The Wilkes University Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner course provides in depth, rigorous training for those who are interested in pursuing a career in adult gerontology nursing. The adult gerontology nursing courses offered at Wilkes University provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to caring for the elderly.

Looking ahead

As we look ahead to what will be another difficult year for the healthcare sector, and for geriatric nurses in particular, there is still cause for hope. As the vaccine rollouts are underway around the world, more and more healthcare workers and elderly populations are becoming protected each day from the virus.

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