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Care + Career

Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

Preparing for the growing aging population with Davene Yankle

The aging population is growing at an unprecedented rate. It's projected that by 2050, nearly 17% of the world’s population (1.6 billion people) will be 65 or older (source).

 

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“Older people are a rapidly growing proportion of the world’s population,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “People are living longer, but that does not necessarily mean that they are living healthier. The increase in our aging population presents many opportunities and also several public health challenges that we need to prepare for."

At NHA, we understand that healthcare is changing every day — and changes like the rapidly growing aging population makes continuing education vital to your success as an allied health professional. That's why NHA requires Continuing Education (CE) credits to maintain certification. And when it comes to creating new educational content, we turn to some of the industry’s top experts — active leaders of the allied health community who are helping shape the future of healthcare.

Leaders like Davene Yankle MS-HSM, BSN, RN, Manager of Clinical Services for OhioHealth Physician Group.IMG_0999 (002)[1].jpg

Davene is a registered nurse with a career spanning 37+ years in clinical care and education. She's worked in trauma intensive care and open heart recovery care as well as specialty areas as a staff development instructor for critical care and skilled nursing — which includes the aging population and both chronic and acute disease management. Throughout her tenure as a nurse, she has gained lots of insight on the effects of aging. "However," she says, "Nothing can prepare you for your own personal journey of watching a loved one advance into older age."

In her new CE series, "The Golden Years," Davene draws from both her professional and personal experiences to discuss the physiological and psychosocial aspects of aging.

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The goal of the series is to help develop a deeper understanding of the aging process and common challenges that go with it. Information on the most common chronic conditions encountered by this population as well as various types of age-related dementia are also included in the series.

The series includes three articles:

  • The Aging Process - Aging involves a number of progressive physiological changes within the human body. This article touches on some of the more common changes seen as individuals reach various milestones. It also touches on some of the issues related to psychosocial and coping issues needed during various stages of the life cycle.
  • Common Diseases Associated with Aging - This article discusses the 10 most common diseases associated with aging. While our elderly may be living longer, they are not necessarily living healthier. This article dives into each of these conditions and discusses way to improve quality of life and functional ability when disease strikes.
  • Age-Related Dementia - From mild cognitive impairment to the devastating Lewy body dementia, this article helps you understand the different types of dementia and potential risks associated with each type. Symptoms and complications will be discussed briefly to help you differentiate between some of the more common dementias seen in the aging population.

Below, Davene shares some additional details and insight about her new CE series and about working with the aging population.

What do you hope certification holders will gain from this series?

"When you are a young healthcare worker, it’s difficult to grasp the true feelings of someone who is older and dealing with multiple chronic diseases. My hope is that this series gives the learner a deeper understanding of what the elderly face as they advance in age. I also hope it allows the learner to develop a greater empathy for our aging population, because everyone, if lucky enough to, will be part of an elderly generation."

What do you like best about working with geriatric patients?

"Their wisdom and fortitude. If you take a minute to talk with your elderly patients, you will be amazed at their life and their trials and tribulations. My greatest joy in nursing is when I am able to really talk with my elderly patients and learn about their lives. I’ve met a holocaust survivor (a story in itself) and military veterans, world travelers and people from all walks of life. I’ve learned to become a better listener and by doing that, I’ve become more understanding and aware of the world outside my own."

What kind of tips can you provide for healthcare workers who work with this special age group?

"Take the time to listen and learn from them. Be kind to all your patients but have a special place in your heart for the elderly because they remember what it was like to be young and healthy and it’s a difficult transition for them, whether they show it or not."

What is the best career advice you ever received?

"To be the very best healthcare provider that you can be, you must first embrace the fact that you will never know everything you need to know, so in essence you must commit to becoming a lifelong learner. I have embraced this concept and take every opportunity that I can to expand my learning. You also need to learn to embrace change. Just because something has been done the same way for a long period of time, doesn’t mean that the process can’t be improved."

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NHA certificate holders have exclusive access to our CE library with no additional fees. To access Davene's articles and earn two CE credits per article, log in to your NHA account now.

Before completing NHA CE, you should check the rules or regulations of the licensing or regulatory agency of your state, in case there are different requirements.

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We’re grateful to have experts like Davene contributing valuable content in our CE series. We believe there’s no better source of learning than from the men and women who are actively working — and leading — the industry today.

 

 

Topics: Insider, continuing education, professional tips, career tools, aging