Clinical Notebook| Volume 35, ISSUE 5, P447-450, September 2009

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The Increasing Geriatric Population and Overcrowding in the Emergency Department: One Hospital’s Approach

      Next time you walk through your emergency department on a very busy day, stop for a moment and take in the bright lights, the sounds, and the smells. For the average adult patient anxiously awaiting test results, a ride to the radiology department, or a transfer to an inpatient bed, the ED atmosphere can be stressful. For a geriatric patient, the average ED activities can be frightening. Imagine a nurse educated for and dedicated to facilitating the care of geriatric ED patients. Someone who works with all team members to expedite care and reduce the length of the ED wait time, answers patient and family questions, and works with outside agencies and facilities. What I have described is the Bridgeport Hospital Geriatric Emergency Medicine Systems (GEMS) nurse.
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      Dori Rogers is Geriatric Case Manager, Bridgeport Hospital Center for Geriatrics, Stratford, CT.