Jeanne Mathis Halpin

Note From a Nurse

Note From a Nurse

Mount Nittany Medical Center’s nurses are committed to providing excellent care to older adults. Donors help ensure this.

Jeanne Mathis Halpin, RN, Clinical Supervisor of the Medical Center’s Medical/Oncology Floor, implemented a program called Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE). She says, “Our unit requested and received funding from one of the donor funds managed by The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center to purchase items that provide cognitive stimulation for hospitalized older adults. Our goal is to enhance the experience of geriatric patients at Mount Nittany Medical Center by introducing therapeutic activities to help them stay alert during hospitalization. She added, “A hospital stay can be boring and seem endless for older adults, particularly those who are alone. While our private rooms provide many advantages, they can be isolating, too.”

With the generous donation from The Foundation, their unit was able to purchase many items which can be used with all patients, not just those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

An example of this donation in use was observed when an 84-year-old patient with advanced dementia was frequently crying out and trying to pull out her IV. She was agitated and unable to rest; so one of the nurses brought in a doll and asked the patient to hold it. The effect was immediate. The patient stopped pulling at her IV and quieted down, and within the hour was sleeping—all the while tenderly cradling the doll in her arms.

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