There are several assessment tools nurses use in in the field to assess geriatrics along with the rest of the population. Three most common assessment tools are, the pain scale, fall risk scale, and the depression scale.
To provide the best care for their elderly patients, nurses must incorporate pain assessment into their daily care of patients. Pain assessment is a key aspect of the nurse’s role. There are many factors to consider when assessing patients’ pain such as if they are verbal or non-verbal, what language they speak, their age and their cultural background. There are many tools that a nurse can use to assess a patient’s pain but one of the most common tools is the 0-10 scale. This tool can be asked verbally by asking what their pain level is on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain they have ever had. You may also use this tool in a visual manner with faces that correlate to the numbers. 0 being a happy face and 10 being a very sad face. Elderly patients from diverse cultural backgrounds are increasing in long term care facilities so it is important to have a 0 – 10 pain scale written in their native language. Some patients are stoic and do not express their pain as much as other people so it is important to understand that a 0 – 10 pain scale might not always be sufficient and could be combined with observing any physical signs that the patient might be in pain such as facial expressions and guarding. Nurses must have a good base of knowledge and attitude towards pain and always take what the patient reports their pain scale to be as truth. If the patient does report pain it would be important to treat the pain or if it is a new occurrence to follow this assessment up with another valuable pain assessment tool called OLDCARTS (Meiner 268-272, Perry 969-975)For an older adult it is important to have different assessment tools planned for them, to maintain healthy, and increase their quality of life. Another tool to use for the elderly its the o risk for falls assessment.
Not only will a fall of an elderly patient potentially decrease their functional status, but it is one of the leading causes of death for older adults. The number one priority a nurse needs to focus on is keeping the patient safe, and with the risk for falls assessment they can eliminate the increase of falls (Wilson 520-521).
Some one who is on a risk for falls assessment has changes in their muscle strength, mobility, gait and unable to independently activities of daily living without them falling. What the risk of falls assessment entails is, they look at the risk factors and they score them on how many risk factors they have. The nurse will first start off with age, if the patient is 65-79 years of age they get a point, but if they are 80 years or older then they get two points. Then they will look at their mental status, that will be scored be either are they oriented at all times (which they do not receive a point) to are...