TMC Granted New Pediatric Emergency Care Certification

Tucson Medical Center is one of only two local hospitals to receive a brand new certification that ensures stronger outcomes for ill and injured children in emergencies.

TMC was certified in April as an “Advanced Care Emergency Department” — the highest certification level offered through a voluntary program collaboratively run by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Arizona is one of only five states to implement the program, which requires that hospitals meet stringent criteria for staffing, equipment and facilities.

“This is very exciting news,” said Melissa Moreno, the senior clinical manager in the pediatric emergency department at TMC for Children. “Ultimately, the goal is to provide better care for the children in our community, and it provides parents with that reassurance.”

The department had to meet strict requirements just to apply for the certification.

“This collaboration should give families peace of mind,” said Tomi St. Mars, chief of the Office of Injury Prevention for the state health department, which has been spearheading the effort to launch the certification since 2008.

The announcement in April marked the first round of certifications, based on site visits from December 2011 through March 2012.

The certification means TMC for Children has all of the education and resources and equipment necessary to do the best job taking care of young patients.

The nursing staff, for example, is truly comprised of pediatric nurses – not adult nurses being floated over, Moreno said. They had to obtain significantly more certifications and have continuing education requirements as well just to be able to continue working in the department. The training means nurses will be better equipped to deal with growing challenges such as autism and psychiatric challenges, she said.

Moreno said the staff didn’t mind the extra work, noting on the most recent employee survey, 100 percent of them said they love what they do. “They want to come to work every day,” Moreno said, adding there is little turnover.

“I feel very confident that if I brought my little boy here, that he would receive excellent care. I wouldn’t even think twice about it.”

Five other facilities in Phoenix were also given approval.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Rd. | Tucson, AZ 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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