Health Care Professionals Learn from JGS’s Nursing Research Conference

LONGMEADOW — There are unique features that make a place a ‘home,’ and the ability to identify these components and bring them to a residential setting will increase the ‘at-homeness’ experience and comfort in residential living. Jewish Geriatric Services brought the concept of ‘at-homeness’ forward at the fourth annual Research Day using the theme “There’s No Place Like Home.”

More than 50 local health care professionals, predominantly nurses, were attentive to the words of two prominent health care professionals who brought the results of their research to Western Mass.

Dr. Sheila L. Molony, a nationally known expert in ‘at-homeness,’ is on leave from her faculty position at Yale University to complete a Claire M. Fagin postdoctoral fellowship from the John A. Hartford Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence. The author, speaker, and educator has studied “What is home, and what is the concept that is home?”

Molony was able to quantify these ideas through truly listening to the authentic voices of residents to the true meaning of home and encouraged those present to do the same. Molony noted, “at home, people are a virtuoso of their environment. They have choice, control, security, acceptance and contribution.”

Dr. Meredith Wallace, a Yale University School of Nursing faculty member, offered her “Vision Toward Geriatric Nursing Care in the Future.” Wallace noted that only half of nursing-education programs offer a course in gerontology, and this lack of professional preparation will allow myths and stereotypes of the elderly to persist and are a barrier to quality care for those who are aging.

The Jewish Geriatric Services nursing staff offered more than a dozen poster presentations on topics such as use of data dashboards, anticoagulation, mentoring, electronic medical records, and how music is used as therapy, among other topics.

“Research Day provides an opportunity for our staff to share their knowledge and to participate in keeping the entire team abreast of the changes that are vital to providing quality care to the people we serve,” said Barbara Macdonald, RN, GCNS-BC, director of Professional Practice and Nursing Outcomes at JGS and one of the key coordinators of the conference. “Our commitment to learning creates a culture where nursing inquiry and excellence is the norm.”

Jewish Geriatric Services has been accepted by American Nurses Credentialing Center on the Journey to Nursing Excellence Program. Through its annual Research Day program, JGS demonstrates its commitment to identifying innovations in professional nursing practice. Research Day is a result of the partnership between Jewish Geriatric Services and the UMass Amherst School of Nursing. The partnership, which was initiated in 2004, was designed with the dual purpose of providing advanced education to JGS’s clinical staff, while in turn offering a place for UMass nursing students to conduct their junior year clinical rotations.

JGS is a leading health care system serving elders and their families. Programs of JGS include the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home, Wernick Adult Day Health Care Center, Spectrum Home Health and Hospice Care, Ruth’s House – An Assisted Living Residence, JGS Family Medical Care, and Genesis House.

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