Michele Hunter-Law, a Geriatric Nurse at Episcopal Church Home in St. Paul, talks about her job.
Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
I work in a general household with 19 residents. I start by listening to the overnight report, update the nursing assistants, doctors, nurse practitioners and families as needed. I check residents' charts and the calendar to see if any have outside appointments. I check blood sugars and give insulin before breakfast. I process doctors' orders, report laboratory results, assist residents with meals, pass medications and attend care conferences. I do wound care and other treatments, educate nursing assistants and count narcotics at shift change times. I also help nursing assistants with lifting, turning, toileting and ambulating residents.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
We're about a year-and-a-half into the household model, which is resident-
centered care. This allows residents to sleep as long as they want, eat what they
want and be part of choosing activities. It also allows me to spend more time
doing special things with residents, like cooking or reading to them. It's more
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
I interact with residents; staff; doctors; nurse practitioners; families; laboratory, X- ray, pharmacy and kitchen staff; dieticians; physical and occupational therapists; and specialists such as neurologists, urologists and psychiatrists.
Q: Why did you become a geriatric nurse?
It was my first nursing job out of school and I liked it and stayed. I've been doing this for 11 years.
Q: What do you like about your work?
I like interacting with the residents, getting to know them. They're all so different. I get attached to them and their families. I also like the new technology we're learning and the household model.