Millville's Christine Fiorentino Roller is both a caregiver and a researcher.
The nurse manager of a medical/surgical observation unit at Inspira Health Network Vineland Medical Center is running two research projects. Both focus on improving care of the elderly.
One is to test whether early identification and treatment of delirium, which is confusion and the inability to focus or concentrate, helps elderly patients get better quicker. Delirium can be caused by dehydration, urinary infection, a change in medication or just a change in surroundings and routine, Roller said.
She has trained staff to differentiate between delirium, depression and dementia, and every patient age 65 and older who enters the hospital is tested upon admission and change in mental status, she said.
She is also researching whether using volunteers on inpatient units will speed recovery and avoid complications. The hospital has 300 volunteers, but they work elsewhere - not on inpatient units, she said.
So she trained 15 volunteers to answer call lights, pass ice water, give out reading materials and sit with patients that are confused.
"We have had a decrease in falls and restraint utilization," she said of the unit with inpatient volunteers.
Both studies have another year to run, she said.
Roller graduated from Cumberland County College with a nursing degree in 1998, then earned her bachelor's of nursing from Wilmington University, she said.
She has been at Inspira since 1998. Last fall, she received the Richard Hader Visionary Leader award from the journal "Nursing Management."
She and husband Bill have two children, son Billy, 14, and daughter Hailey, 11.
Friday Tie Day
The nonprofit Friday is Tie Day, started by Darrell Edmonds, of Egg Harbor Township, is holding a First Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Cousin Mario's restaurant in Mays Landing. There will be food, presentations, and a trunk show shop. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.fridayistieday.com.
Miss America visit
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, 24, recently toured Shore Medical Center's Surgical Pavilion and Pediatric Care Center, where she gave a get-well gift to Isabella Speicher, 7, of Upper Township, and other patients.