GBMC Nurse from Parkville Recognized With National Award For Work With Geriatric Patients
A Greater Baltimore Medical Center nurse specializing in care for geriatric patients has been selected as the winner of a national nursing award. This month, Erin Ament, BS, RN-BC, a nurse on GBMC’s Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit, received the National Excellence in Gerontological Nursing Award for 2012.
A resident of the Parkville area of Baltimore County, Ament has been a nurse for 10 years and has worked at the Towson hospital’s ACE Unit for five years. She has served as Clinical Unit Coordinator since September 2009. After earning her RN degree, Ament achieved certification as a Gerontological Nurse from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a member of the national nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau.
Ament started her nursing career in acute psychiatric nursing and switched to caring for medical / geriatric patients. “As I worked with the dementia, depression and cognitively impaired patients, I found a joy in their smiles and gratitude from this elderly population. They just wanted someone to listen and respond to them as a person and I felt that I was really making a connection and became passionate about helping this population,” Ament says. “Working in the ACE program, I consider myself lucky as I get the best of both worlds. In my role I get to work with the patients I love and educate the nurses around me about the importance of their care with the elderly patient.”
The Excellence in Gerontological Nursing Award is presented by the National Gerontological Nursing Association. The award was established to recognize excellence in individuals who provide care to older adults. This award is intended to honor an advanced practice registered nurse, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and/or a certified nursing assistant who has consistently provided outstanding care to older adults and have been inspirational role models and mentors to other healthcare workers. A second nurse on GBMC’s ACE Unit, Maria Baxter, was also nominated for the award.
GBMC’s ACE Unit is designed to support the medical, functional and social needs of patients over the age of 65 who have an acute condition requiring hospitalization. The ACE Unit features patient-centered treatment in an environment that operates with specialized care guidelines and patient discharge plans, based on the short- and long-term needs of elderly patients. The unit is supported by an interdisciplinary team that includes a geriatrician, specially trained nurses, pharmacist, dietitian and rehabilitation specialists. Patient rooms are equipped with special beds that can be lowered to a level that allows ease of access and decreases the risk of patient falls. Those with medical conditions who are at risk for complications from hospitalization such as delirium, depression, incontinence, falls or those who receive multiple medications are all candidates for admission to the ACE Unit.
“I would like to see more emphasis and acknowledgement of the geriatric population as a specialty and the need to improve our care for them as the country moves towards a “graying society,” Ament adds.” This population can have so many complications just because of their age, it really takes knowledge to understand and prevent these events.”