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Distance Learning Courses and Classes in Geriatric Health

Explore options for studying geriatric health via distance education. Learn about potential courses, and get some insight into the process of online learning.

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Overview of Online Geriatric Health Coursework

Distance learning courses and programs allow prospective and current medical professionals in geriatric health the flexibility to take online courses as part of a degree program or to meet continuing education requirements. Courses cover subjects such as nutrition, health screening and ethics as they pertain to the elderly. Some distance learning classes in geriatric health are taken as part of a Master of Science in Geriatric Health or Professional Certificate in Geriatric Health Management program.

Many four-year universities and colleges offer geriatric health coursework online. Most are at the graduate level and require students to have previously earned a bachelor's degree. Online graduate certificates and master's programs may require applicants to have professional experience working with the elderly or in healthcare. Some programs that are focused on direct medical care, such as geriatric nursing, require students to be licensed healthcare professionals.

Continuing education courses offered through distance learning may not have as strict admission requirements and offer a more self-paced format. That said, these typically do not offer college credit but rather continuing education units (CEUs).

Course Descriptions

A wide range of gerontology-specific courses are available in a distance-learning format. These courses usually don't require any on-site attendance and have similar content to campus-based courses. The following list offers details about online coursework in geriatric health.

The Aging Process

This course provides in-depth study on normal aging while helping students identify acute and chronic conditions encountered in the elderly.

Ethical Issues in Geriatrics

Students learn about conflicts between patients and family caregivers and the roles of organizations and individuals. A review of complex problems, such as elder abuse, and advanced directives provide insight into the multi-layered issues of geriatric health care.

Nutrition

Students are taught how age-related conditions and chronic diseases affect nutritional requirements. Screening and assessment tools are also addressed.

Screening for the Geriatric Population

Enrollees receive information on a variety of screening programs for older patients, such as screening for lipid and thyroid disorders, diabetes and osteoporosis. Barriers to screenings are also covered.

Online Learning

Schools with online classes often use content management systems, such as Blackboard or WebCT, which allow instructors to post assignments and hold class discussions using forum posts. Continuing education programs may use single-course modules that contain virtual presentations and lessons followed by a review quiz. Geriatric health programs typically can be completed totally online, with the exception of those focused on providing medical care; these may have on-site clinical components.

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