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
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- Adult Gerontology Practitioner Certificate
- Human Service Certificates in Child and Family Services
- MS in Human Services
- And more...
Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County. Maryville University students may choose from 75+ academic programs, including degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
- Online Master of Science in Nursing-Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.) and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.
- M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
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)
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
At the University of Nevada, Reno, we teach public health practitioners how to look beyond physical conditions and consider environmental, economic and sociological factors that impact individual and community health, happiness and well-being.
The online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice is designed to prepare you for employment in nearly any area of the public health field.
The lessons learned in your online courses can prepare you for whatever area of public health you’re interested in. Courses include the following:
- Public Health Biology
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Our 100% onlineand CEPH-accredited MPH program gives you the flexibility to enhance your expertise — and your career — without having to put your life on hold.
- Online Master of Public Health (MPH)
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- Associate Degree in Nursing
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
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- Master's Healthcare Management
Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!
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