Aged care is the management and care of the health of the elderly (The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2011). This broad term encompasses a multitude of services including residential care, in home care and hospice care. There are many aged care environments and students will work with elderly people in a number of settings whether in an acute care, community or a specialised facility.
In this section, there are a range of resources that have been collated for clinical educators to use when working in an aged care environment. The resources are structured to reflect a useful 'framework for geriatric practice' (Nitz, 2013). Every workplace is different. Therefore, you are welcome to review the following information and apply or adapt it to your individual work environment.
Benefits of clinical education placements in an aged care context
There are many benefits of clinical education placements working within an aged care context. These benefits are best described by clinical educators who work in this setting. In this video, Megan Saunders talks about Mobile Rehab's experience offering physiotherapy placements.
Framework for Geriatric Placement
Planning and preparing for your placement is essential. There are consistent guidelines for clinical education. No matter what your environment/setting, please refer to other sections of this website for general clinical education information.
It is essential for students to have a thorough understanding of the 'framework for geriatric practice' in order to gain the most from their placement (Nitz, 2013). This framework includes:
- a broad knowledge base of normal ageing and pathologies
- competency in application and interpretation of profession-specific skills
- utilisation of clinical reasoning skills to enable patient centred problem solving
- empowerment of patients to gain or retain self-determination
- effective measurement of outcomes
- consideration of health promotion and prevention of age-related decline
- a willingness to investigate and learn independently
The eight topics of this framework have been used as the structure for this section. The topics contain resources and links which, when combined with the generic clinical education sections of this website and the clinical educator's knowledge and experience of the work area, will assist the educator to support the student gain an understanding of the 'framework for geriatric practice'.