Aging Institute Education and Trai​ning Resources for Professionals

As people age, their bodies and minds respond differently, from how they eat and sleep, to how they are affected by medications or recover from an injury.

To recognize and respond to these differences, health care professionals and service providers at the frontline of care must better understand the unique needs of older adults.

The Aging Institute offers educational and training programs for professionals working in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, home health, and a variety of other settings.

These programs are designed to:

  • Promote increased sensitivity and awareness of general aging-related issues and needs
  • Improve the direct clinical skills of professionals
  • Address special issues concerning aging adults, such as sexuality and gender, long-term care directives, and dementia

Additionally, through its partnership with the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, we provide connections to other support resources for professional growth.

Current Education and Training Programs Offered for Professionals

Certificate Program in Gerontology for Nurse Aides and Nurses

The Aging Institute has developed a certificate program to enhance nurse competency in aging and train nurse aides and nurses in appropriately taking care of older adults.

The program is designed to augment the knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of gerontology and geriatrics focusing on specific aspects of aging, including:

  • Biological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological

Students receive practical tips on managing normal and abnormal changes during the aging process.

The program is offered in two separate tracks:

Nurse Aide Track This track is a three day training program and includes education on the following geriatric syndromes: fall prevention, nutritional concerns, urinary incontinence, dementia, depression, advance directives, pain and end-of-life concerns. The continuum of health and human services and the providers of community-based services are explored with emphasis on the needs of the older client. It is an interactive program designed to support those “soft skills” necessary for successful work management, including communication, conflict, delegation, team building and problem solving.​
Nursing Track This track is available for RNs and LPNs and is a four day training program including the sections covered in the Nurse Aide Track along with the additional topics of delirium, medication safety and critical thinking skills. A comprehensive overview of clinical problem recognition and analysis are presented to assist the individual in the improvement of geriatric assessment skills and the importance of early intervention. This is an interactive program utilizing a geriatric manikin to simulate disease processes. Exercises designed to replicate common scenarios experienced by nurses are reenacted to allow nurses to apply critical thinking skills in response to the circumstances encountered. Primary prevention and health promotion are discussed.​

Critical Thinking Skills in Caring for Older Adults

This course is designed to address the complexity of caring for older adults. The nurse will review the history, medications, and the current atypical presentation of illness. The nurse will differentiate between normal aging versus abnormal aging changes and will anticipate potential adverse responses to treatment.

Learn more about this course.

Registration for this program is handled through WISER. Call 412-648-6073 or email wiserhelp@upmc.edu.​

Certification Review Courses

The Aging Institute also offers a two day review course to aid RNs and LPNs in preparing to obtain a certification in gerontology.

Both courses offer a comprehensive review of the topics covered in the exam including:

  • Aging theories
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing process
  • Wellness
  • Legal
  • Ethical issues

Certification exams are offered by the following organizations.

RN Certification ANCC Gerontological Nurse Certification
LPN Certification​ NAPNES Certification in Long Term Care​

For More Information

For more information, call Betty Robison at (412) 864-2092.​

Delirium Videos

Delirium is an acute disease and primarily affects the older adult population. It is the leading complication of hospitalization resulting in increased mortality rates, persistent functional decline, and higher rates of new nursing home placement. Symptoms are typically unrecognized or attributed to dementia, so the skills of the clinician are paramount.

These three short videos, filmed with staff from Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Shadyside, review hypoactive, hyperactive, and ICU delirium.

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