The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Gerontology Curricula

Helen M Sorenson, BA, RRT, Tuesday, December 9, 1997.

The dramatic growth of the aging population in the United States has pushed to the forefront, health care and medical concerns of the elderly. Older people are major consumers of health care services, and are frequently cared for by professionals in the field of respiratory care. Changes in the patient population along with expanded roles of today's RCP's, require some training in geriatrics/gerontology. Both geriatrics and gerontology are multidisciplinary. Practitioners from medicine, nursing, respiratory care, social work, physical therapy and other allied health professions all make contributions to geriatrics. Gerontology is a field that combines research from biology, psychology, sociology, economics, and other disciplines. The respiratory care practitioner is a member of the multidisciplinary team. As such, RCP's can and will be called upon to provide quality, age-appropriate care. The roles and importance of different professionals will vary in the care of older people, as will the needs and wants of older people. Expanding curricula to include components of geriatrics/gerontology, will provide a knowledge base of the aging process that will serve us well as members of the health care team.

AARC 50th Anniversary, December 6 - 9, 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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