Interview with a Registered Nurse Specializing in Geriatric Care

in Careers in Medicine, Independent Contracting Jobs, Indoor Jobs, Jobs that are fee for service, Jobs where you get Hourly Pay

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Registered nurse Shelley Webb of IntentionalCareGiver.com gets JobShadowed.  

What do you do for a living? 

I am a Registered Nurse, Geriatric Care Manager, and owner of The Intentional Caregiver, an online resource to help caregivers of aging parents and loved ones.  www.IntentionalCaregiver.com  I am also a contributing expert writer for www.ShareCare.com

How would you describe what you do?  

As a geriatric care manager, I do assessments of elders and their families to find out what services can be utilized to help maintain the health and safety of an elder while keeping them as independent as possible.

I also write articles, participate in interviews, write a bi-weekly newsletter, maintain my website, do a bit of speaking and run a business.

It takes a certain personality to be a nurse. A calm confidence, compassion, and sincere desire to help your patient(s) is imperative. In school, you will learn the IDEAL way to care for a patient. The real world is not the same so do your best, adhere to the scope of practice and don’t compromise your ethics. Choose to work in the area that you resonate with. It may not even be in a hospital. There are numerous opportunities for registered nursing.

What does your work entail? 

Assessments, research, writing – a LOT of writing, social media, consultations with potential clients, continuous learning.

What’s a typical work week like?  

My week is very hectic but fun and rewarding.

How did you get started? 

I went into nursing school, straight out of high school, one of the youngest in my nursing class of 75 students.  Our eldest student was 62!

When I graduated, I was 19 and went to work as a neonatal nurse.  I was bound and determined not to work on the med-surg floor as all my instructors had advised.  In my career as a nurse, I have worked in the NICU, the dialysis unit, as a case manager for an insurance company and now as a business owner and geriatric care manager but NEVER on the med-surg floor.

What do you like about what you do? 

I like that I am my own boss, that I can set my own hours and that I’m accountable to myself for my work and my income.

What do you dislike? 

…that I am my own boss, that I can set my own hours and that I’m accountable to myself for my work and my income.  :)

How do you make money/or how are you compensated? 

I earn money by charging a set price for assessments, then an hourly rate for case management after that.   I also earn money by writing articles and by selling educational products.

How much money do you make as a Registered Nurse specializing in Geriatric Care? 

Geriatric Care Managers earn between $60,000.00 to $90,000.00 per year depending upon their geographic location and the number of clients that they serve.

How much money do Registered Nurses make starting out? 

I don’t even know that anymore, but it’s always been a good beginning salary.  The last hospital assignment that I had paid approximately $40.00 per hour.

What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this? 

A  nursing degree (registered nurse) plus a certification in geriatric care management is required.  In my case, web management skills, and some business education are also required.

What is most challenging about what you do? 

Working with families can be a bit challenging because each family member AND the elder who is the client has a different idea about what should be done in order to care for the client.

What is most rewarding? 

The most rewarding part of my work is in being able to enable the client (the elder) to stay healthy and safe in order to remain independent as long as possible.  It is also rewarding to help relieve some of the stress that goes along with family caregiving.

What advice would you offer someone considering this career? 

It takes a certain personality to be a nurse.  A calm confidence, compassion, and sincere desire to help your patient(s) is imperative.  In school, you will learn the IDEAL way to care for a patient.  The real world is not the same so do your best, adhere to the scope of practice and don’t compromise your ethics.  Choose to work in the area that you resonate with.  It may not even be in a hospital.  There are numerous opportunities for registered nursing.

How much time off do you get/take? 

Because I’m growing my business, I don’t take much time off yet, but I do have flexible hours.

What is a common misconception people have about what you do? 

They think I play on the computer all day.

What are your goals/dreams for the future? 

My goal is to continue to build my business.  My dream is that more elders can remain in their home or the home of a loved one until the day that God calls them home.

What else would you like people to know about your job/career? 

Nursing is a great career that can accommodate your needs throughout your working career.  It will allow time off for caring for children, will allow a change of focus, a change of geographical location, or a change of venue without starting over again.  But there’s a caveat to that – nursing salaries don’t increase a great deal from a starting salary to a retiring salary.  In order to increase your salary, it requires moving from the bedside setting to a different utilization of your degree – such as an advanced practice nurse, a legal nurse, a writer, professor, or as a consultant or business owner.


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