Skip to Content

Published on December 18, 2013

Elder Care Unit Implements New Nurse to Nurse Program and Patient Care Technician Certification

In Brief:

  • Crozer’s ACE Unit is staffed by a dedicated team of professionals who are specially trained to meet the unique physical, mental, emotional and social needs of seniors.
  • The Nurse to Nurse program offers geriatric nurse consultations. Questions about pain, delirium, confusion, diversion activities, nutrition and other questions specific to geriatric patients can be directed to a certified geriatric ACE nurse over the phone or, when possible, in person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Crozer is a designated NICHE hospital, indicating its commitment to elder care excellence.

The Acute Care of Elders (ACE) Unit at Crozer-Chester Medical Center incorporates redesigned care to meet the unique physical, mental, emotional and social needs of seniors. The ACE Unit is staffed by a dedicated team of professionals who are specially trained to meet the unique physical, mental, emotional and social needs of seniors.

The multidisciplinary team is led by a board-certified geriatric physician and a nurse manager with experience in the ACE approach to personalized care. The unit is designed for patients 60 and older who are hospitalized and who do not need urgent surgery or have other conditions that render them too unstable for a medical floor. Patients with problems such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, heart failure, falls and confusions are typically admitted to the ACE Unit.

Specialized Elder Care Outside of the ACE Unit

While the Acute Care of Elders (ACE) Unit at Crozer-Chester Medical Center specializes in the care of geriatric patients, not all patients over the age of 60 reside in the ACE Unit. As a result, some nurses may struggle with geriatric care. To ensure that geriatric patients are receiving the care that they need, a new Nurse to Nurse program has been implemented.

The Nurse to Nurse program offers geriatric nurse consultations. Questions about pain, delirium, confusion, diversion activities, nutrition and other questions specific to geriatric patients can be directed to a certified geriatric ACE nurse over the phone or, when possible, in person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The geriatric population is 68 percent of all inpatients. These efforts will improve every aspect of their hospitalization,” says Kathleen Denny R.N., director of the ACE Unit.

Denny says that the Nurse to Nurse program allows communication between nurses so that geriatric patients receive the best care possible during their stay. Currently, there are a total of seven geriatric-certified nurses: Lisa Garcia, Kathy Denny, Elaine Stanislow, Teri Devlin, Donna Hart, Karen Murphy and Sharia Chancey. This number may increase in January after interested Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) are award their geriatric certification.

PCT Certification Offered

PCTs will be given the opportunity to obtain geriatric certification by Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE). NICHE is the leading nurse driven program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults with a vision of giving patients 65-and-over sensitive and exemplary care. Over the course of two days, PCTs underwent comprehensive course covering all areas of patient care. Topics included pain management, wounds, sensory deprivation, comfort, delirium and frailty. A total of 16 PCTs received geriatric certification on Dec. 10.

In addition to the new programs, recreational therapist Wendy Dargay created an activity/diversional care cart to comfort patients while staying in the ACE Unit. Everything from crafts to items with comforting textures are provided to patients in an effort to comfort them during their stay. The cart is used as a resource for geriatric patients who have emotional, mental, physical or social needs. The cart will be available for all units and will be brought upon request.

Crozer is a designated NICHE hospital, indicating its commitment to elder care excellence. With this designation, Crozer's clinicians and administrators participate in education and training specific to elder care, share knowledge and expertise with other NICHE hospitals.

eNewsletter Signup

Our eNewsletters from Crozer-Keystone Health System help keep you up-to-date on your health and well being. View recent editions or sign up to receive our free eNewsletters.