Day in the life of
Geriatric Nurse – Ioannes Giannakakos
My name is Ioannes. I am a 28 years old state certified geriatric nurse from Germany and I worked for Caritas Frankfurt in a home for the elderly.
My typical workday on the early shift looks like this:
First of all, team meeting early in the morning at 6 a.m. and find out what emergencies there were and if a patient had died or if there were new doctor’s orders. After that, I always had between 10-15 people to care for. That means waking them up in the morning, washing them, getting them dressed and administering their medication. Some people also had to be mobilized and received a new catheter or insulin injections.
Afterwards, they were taken to breakfast. After breakfast, I always had to prepare the medications for 70 people for the next week and order missing medications from the pharmacy. Afterwards, there was lunch, here I had to feed some people and give them medication. After lunch, most of the elderly people took a nap.
Now it was time for documentation, I documented on a computer all the measures that were carried out. So that the late shift knew what was done and what news there was. Afterwards, the late shift came and asked what to do and what happened. They explained everything there and then I was allowed to go home. That was always around 2 p.m. I often worked 8 days in a row and then had 2 days off.
In the late shift, the work was always a bit more relaxed, because no people had to be showered, here you had more time for medical tasks, such as changing wound dressings, administering injections or doing brain jogging with demented people. The late shift always started around 2:30 p.m. and at 3 p.m. there was coffee and cake. For this, you had to get all the patients out of their rooms and bring them to the dining room, many of them were demented, so it was sometimes not so easy. In the dining room, they helped those who were not able to eat alone. Also, people who couldn’t get out of bed got coffee and cake, they had to go to their room with a tray and feed them. After the coffee and cake, there was often time for administrative tasks, I helped with the duty roster and also with the new orders for the nursing home. Hygiene articles and medicines were ordered, but also new wheelchairs.
Afterwards, there was always dinner, here was the same procedure as with the coffee and cake, only that the old people had to be brought afterwards still in the bed, that was always so about 20 o’clock the case. Here they were helped to get changed and put to bed. Many demented people were always very aggressive as soon as it got dark. Here, sedatives were often used. Afterwards, the living area was cleared and everything was documented on the PC.
When the night shift came, we discussed everything with them and around 9:30 in the evening we could go home.
The advantages of my job are: Working with people and doing something good for society. I have a lot to do every day and the work flies by. The activities are very different, it does not get boring.
The disadvantages of my job are: There is an incredible shortage of staff and the workload is very high. I often work 10 days in a row without having time off. I sometimes have an early shift one day and a late shift the next, or vice versa. I also have to work Christmas and Silvester.
assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.