1. Jeske, Lee MS, APRN,BC
  2. Salamon, Lisa MSN, APRN,BC, WOCN
  3. Sommer, Julie A. MSN, APRN,BC
  4. Weidner, Suzanne MSN, RN

Article Content


To develop an educational opportunity that provides hands-on experience leading to an increase in understanding of common comorbidities experienced by older adults. This workshop is part of an HRSA grant.



The average age of nurses is increasing. Many of these tenured nurses did not receive geriatric didactic or clinical content in their nursing programs. As our patient population increases in age, knowledge in geriatric care and syndromes is increasingly important.



We have nurses with various levels of knowledge related to geriatric care and syndromes. We identified the need to develop the skills of our nurses, anticipating that broadening their understanding of the array of comorbidities that may be present in hospitalized older adults can promote adaptations to the plan of care that promotes independence and decrease length of stay.



A 3.5-hour interactive workshop was developed for nurses working in an inpatient hospital setting. The program consists of a variety of teaching techniques beginning with viewing the "See Me" video published by Concept Media. The video is followed by discussion and a exercise to dispel some of the common myths held about the older population. The second half of the program consists of a concurrent session that provides a hands-on opportunity to experience living with vision and hearing deficits, a decrease in hand dexterity, and changes in functional mobility. This session alternates with a small group discussion of case studies shared by the participants. Strategies for improving interactions with the elder are provided throughout the workshop. The day ends with open dialog and reflection about how this workshop has impacted you personally as a nurse and how you think it will influence your practice.



Each activity within the workshop was evaluated using a 4-point Likert Scale for (a) its relationship to the purpose of the activity and (b) the appropriateness of the teaching strategies.



Feedback from 72 participants indicate that that this was a valuable learning experience and that knowledge gained could easily be integrated into daily practice.


Implications for Practice:

As the patient population continues to age, workshops like this will provide nurses with knowledge in the care of the geriatric population and promote a more elder friendly environment.