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Geriatric otolaryngology toolbox: What you and your nurse can do to improve outcomes for older adults

| Reprints
October 1, 2009
by P.A.C. van Vuuren, MD, Sarah H. Kagan, PhD, RN, and Ara A. Chalian, MD, FACS


Interest in addressing the health needs of older adults and improving their outcomes is burgeoning in otolaryngology, but the availability of practical strategies to achieve these aims is limited. In this article, we describe how otolaryngologists can capitalize on collaboration with nurses to create a toolbox of quick and effective strategies that can be incorporated into outpatient otolaryngology practice. The toolbox was compiled by a collaborative team of three: an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon who specializes in microvascular reconstruction, a geriatrician completing a second residency in otolaryngology, and a gerontologic clinical nurse. We selected and developed these strategies to fit within the framework of standard otolaryngology practice based on evidence we gathered from the geriatric literature and our own collective academic and clinical experience. We review our criteria for selecting each of the 10 items in our toolbox, and we discuss the potential benefits of each.

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