Clinician: Charity Patterson
Patterson is a progressive care unit registered nurse at Excela Health Frick Hospital.
Charity Patterson’s favorite part of her job is taking care of the people she calls neighbors. “I know these people on a personal level,” says Patterson, progressive care unit registered nurse at Excela Health Frick Hospital. “Becoming a member of the community in which you work just makes it so much more special.”
Patterson, an American Nurses Credentialing Center board-certified gerontological nurse, found her passion for helping older patients when working in the home health field. That has led Patterson to develop ways to help keep them even safer in the hospital setting.
Her goal of decreasing falls among dementia patients led to the creation of Busy Boxes, filled with activities aimed at honing fine motor skills and combating boredom when people have to stay in bed. Some have tools for knitting; others contain puzzles, Legos, or beads and string. Each one is suited for specific stages of dementia.
Patterson’s other passion is using leadership opportunities to pave the way for new nurses. She works as a preceptor and has been active in professional governance as well as the health system’s Magnet Recognition Program, which honors organizations where nursing leaders align their strategic goals to improve patient outcomes.
“I try to give new nurses the opportunity to be courageous and voice their thoughts and opinions because it’s very important early on that they know they matter,” she says.