Nurses Leading the Way to a More Senior Friendly Environment

NICHE Trained Nurses
From left, Dawna Maria Perry, Director of Nursing; George Fieber, Nursing Practice Leader; and Bev Gellert, Nurse Manager 2A Medical, are three members of our nursing leadership team who have recently completed the Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders (NICHE) training.

The population of seniors is growing in Northwestern Ontario. At Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, we recognize that the care needs of seniors are different and we are committed to tailoring our services to accommodate them. Some of our nurses have completed NICHE, a special nurse-driven training program to help improve the care we provided to senior patients.

“Nursing practice innovations will be launched over the next 12 months that focus on falls prevention, assessment and prevention of skin injuries, and reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections,” said Fieber. “All of these interventions will contribute to creating a safer and more senior-friendly care environment at our Hospital.”

NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) is the leading nurse-driven program that provides principals and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of health care facilities that supports patient and family centred care for older adults.

“The world population is getting older. Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, so it’s crucial that health care providers prioritize the unique needs of this population,” said George Fieber, Nursing Practice Leader. “That’s why our Hospital, along with over 600 others across North America, Australia and Singapore, are partnering with NICHE to improve the care and services that we provide to patients age 65 and older.”

Four members of our nursing leadership team have recently completed the intensive six-week NICHE Leadership Training Program, which included the opportunity to receive coaching from internationally recognized clinical nursing experts in the fields of acute care and geriatrics. Since graduating, our nurses have begun developing protocols and innovations in nursing practice that will help enhance the patient and family experience.