gerontology is a specialized field of medicine and social work which caters to the elderly and their families. some gerontological social workers work on a voluntary basis, helping the elderly in their daily tasks and bringing them food. others pay more attention to their healthcare needs by arranging doctor's appointments and providing them basic medical treatment. they also work with families of the elderly and provide suggestions regarding their health care. recently, this field has been growing in its demand for trained professionals. a large chunk of the us population from the baby boomers is entering its old age. there needs to be individuals who understand how to provide treatment specific to the needs of these elder patients.
how can i enter this field?
those wishing to become gerontological social workers require formal training in the field. many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in this field. these degree programs usually take four years to complete, and they offer comprehensive training in multiple aspects of caring for the elderly. for some people though, these degree programs are expensive or take too much time commitment. others may only want to obtain basic training to care for an elderly relative or family member. in these cases, obtaining a gerontology certificate online may be a good option.
why consider a gerontology certificate online?
online certificates in gerontology offer several advantages over their campus-based counterparts. as long as you have a reliable computer and internet connection, you are able to access the materials from anywhere you wish. this freedom means that students may complete their coursework at their own convenience, regardless of time or location barriers. another reason to consider these programs is their cost. many certification courses are shorter than their campus-based equivalents, which may make them cheaper as well.
what will i learn?
over the course of your certification program, you will study multiple subjects. some of these will focus on developing your communication skills to better interact with the elderly. you will also be taught how to identify health hazards for your patient and develop ways to minimize the risks. this will involve lessons in basic medicine and first-aid. you will also be taught how to administer physiotherapy, and become a better emotional support for the person under your care and their families. the focus in these programs is on the fundamentals. certification programs give you the necessary skills you need to enter the field, and it is up to you how you use them.
what happens next?
once you complete your certificate program in gerontology, you will have to become certified to practice your profession legally within the us. contacting your institution's administration could help point you towards the authorities which issue these licenses. before you are authorized to practice, you will have to demonstrate your understanding of your field through either a written or practical examination. you may even have to take a combination of both. following this, you could work in an old-age retirement home or a hospital, and tend to the needs of older patients.