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COLLEGE STATION – The College Station Medical Center (The MED) has become the first Brazos Valley hospital to earn the NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) designation from The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing.
The MED is only the fifth Texas hospital to earn the coveted NICHE designation joining the Medical Center of Plano, Texas Health Hospital Fort Worth, University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
According to MED cardiac care director Lisa Sluder, RN, as the nation's aging population continues to increase the NICHE designation and the MED's pledge to quality geriatric care provide assurance to older adults receiving care. Sluder, citing National Institute on Aging statistics, noted that 10,000 people a day are turning 65 and 100 citizens a day turn 100 years of age.
"When a patient comes to the MED and may not be aware of our NICHE designation, they soon understand and realize we are an elderly-friendly facility," Sluder said. "We recognize issues facing the aging population, such as hearing loss, vision, falls, gait and balance and have best practices in place to provide the best possible care. We are on the lookout for age-related changes that patients may be experiencing and promote those issues relevant to the older population, thus enhancing our patient care."
Established in 1992, NICHE is the only national nursing geriatric initiative to improve the care of older hospitalized adults and is comprised of more than 300 hospitals throughout North America. The goal of NICHE is to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit hospitalized older patients.
NICHE provides materials and services necessary to stimulate and support the planning and implementation process. The focus is on programs and protocols that are dominantly under the control of nursing practice; in other words, areas where nursing interventions have a substantive and positive impact on patient care.