Geriatric courses provide students with an understanding of health and disease in later life, and provide an excellent way to become qualified for a career in nursing or, more broadly, health care. To succeed in a career in geriatrics you also need: an interest in working with older adults; excellent communication skills; and patience, sensitivity, empathy, and compassion.
Geriatrics is sometimes confused with gerontology, and although there is a connection, there is also a difference. This page provides information about the courses, where they can be studied, what the job prospects are, and more.
What is geriatrics and is it the same as gerontology?
Geriatrics and gerontology are different, even though a program in one may contain courses about the other. Geriatrics is the study of health and disease in later life, and the health welfare of care givers to the elderly. Gerontology, on the other hand, is the study of the aging process, changes in people as they age, the effects of our aging population on society, and the application of this knowledge to policies and programs.
As a result of the multidisciplinary focus of geriatric programs, it is usual to obtain geriatric training and knowledge in the context of other professional fields, e.g., psychology, sociology, social work, medicine, nursing. Online aging and geriatrics programs may also provide the resource management skills required to manage long-term care facilities.
What is studied in geriatric courses?
Geriatrics is a broad field of studies, drawing on many disciplines. Thus, online geriatric education and training would include psychology (especially dealing with death), anatomy and physiology, legal and ethical issues of dying, and end of life care. You would also learn elderly health services, health care management, long-term care, epidemiology in aging, care and wellness for the elderly, and how to identify and assess senior health and social services needs. Some states require professionals to attain licensure or certification, and the requirements vary from state to state.
Online programs in geriatrics can be found at all levels from Certificate to Doctoral level, most often as a specialism within other programs. Field experience is often a required component. In some professions, such as social work, counseling, and nursing, continuing education is required to maintain a license or certificate.
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What are the career prospects?
Geriatric program graduates can be found in various settings for geriatric care, including: hospitals, care facilities, social service agencies, geriatric residential facilities, government agencies, aging research laboratories, and community agencies. The actual jobs you qualify for depends on experience and the level of the academic qualification you have. Thus, with a master in geriatric you are qualified to become a skilled administrator, planner, and practitioner in geriatrics, e.g., geriatrics nurse. A PhD with a specialism in geriatrics prepares you for a career in geriatric research, teaching, administration, or clinical practice. You can specialize in such areas as: social geriatrics, geriatric social work, geriatric medicine, biomedical geriatrics, or geriatric nursing.
The United States of Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in view of the aging population, opportunities for geriatrics professionals will continue to grow. The income level with a geriatrics online degree varies depending on whether one is a paraprofessional – aide or assistant – to whether one is a nurse, doctor, or geriatric care manager. As a registered nurse you can earn around $52,000 per year.
List of schools and programs
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Adult Gerontology Practitioner Certificate
- Bachelor of Science in Human Services : Gerontology
- Bachelor of Science: Human Services
- And more...
Capella combines outstanding academics with a supportive faculty and staff in a program designed for working adults.
An education that blends theory and practice to fuel your career
- MS - Gerontology
- MS - Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
- PhD - Multidisciplinary Human Services
- And more...
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You’ve found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Ashford delivers relevant degree programs to you everywhere, any time, with a supportive community where you belong.
- BA/Health and Human Services
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- MA Human Services: Military Resilience
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Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
- Human Services (MS)
As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)
Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Today, Georgetown is a major international research university that embodies its founding principles in the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, our intellectual openness, and our international character.
You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.