SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - National Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 8-14 and on March 11 the nursing staff at AristaCare at Cedar Oaks participated in an interactive “Room for Growth” patient safety awareness program.

Administrators for AristaCare recreated a patient room, complete with a prosthetic male dummy, and provided the RNs, CNAs and LPNs with the ‘patient’s’ medical history – including age, diagnosis, room number, allergies and prescribed medications. The nursing staff was then asked to pinpoint all the violations/safety hazards that existed.

“This interactive program was designed to remind our staff to be mindful. Sometimes violations are blatant and obvious but there are times when other, smaller things can be present,” said Vilma Parboji, Community Physician Liaison for AristaCare at Cedar Oaks.

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The rehabilitation center’s nursing staff uncovered a laundry list of safety hazards, including but not limited to, incorrect room number, discontinued alarm, empty hand sanitizer bottle, incorrect mattress and exposed electrical wires, among other things. They also found that the ‘patient,’ who was on said to be on continuous oxygen and allergic to peanuts, was attempting to smoke a cigarette in bed and had been given a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.

According to Director of Nursing Monica Ramirez, AristaCare at Cedar Oaks holds patient safety programs throughout the year but this was the first time a hands-on program of this nature was offered. “Programs of this nature ensure not only the safety of our patients, which is a big priority here, but also our staff,” she said, adding, “We constantly need to make sure we have the right patient and are administering the correct medications and following the right diet. Missing simply things can be life threatening.”

All “Room to Grow” participants received medication safety pamphlets and the four staff members who uncovered the most violations received Dunkin Donuts gift cards. Congratulations to Smita Lamb, Yael Nevius, Mina Patel and Zacqueisha Smith.

AristaCare at Cedar Oaks, located at 1311 Durham Avenue, is South Plainfield's premier short-term rehab center specializing in orthopedic, cardiac, stroke recovery and Alzheimer's memory care. For more information, visit or call (732) 287-9555.


Editor’s Note “AristaCare is an advertiser in TAP into South Plainfield.”