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Total Joint Education Camp Prepares Patients for Upcoming Surgery/Recovery

April 27, 2007

Before Rehabilitation Services launched weekly Total Joint Education Camp sessions in March, much of the total joint replacement experience was an unfolding mystery to patients. “Since we’ve started boot camp sessions, patients who participate are real clear about what they can expect—both in the hospital and when they return home,” says Colleen Hatcher, PT, Rehabilitation Services manager. The multidisciplinary two-hour education program features discussion on all aspects of the total joint patient care experience.

Jim Marshall, PA-C, and Rene Fredette, RN, from Perioperative Services explain the difference between general anesthesia and spinal blocks, and review femoral nerve catheters, use of pain medications and PCA pumps. Nurses Heidi Chatriand and and Jami Blossom review all the nursing aspects of care—explaining IVs and drains, use of sequential pumps on legs after surgery, how often vitals will be assessed, pain medications and anti-nausea drugs. They also emphasize the need for patients to ask for assistance when getting up to prevent any mishaps or falls.

Discharge planners Katy Derzay and Darlene Falk give patients and their families an idea of what support systems they’ll need to arrange ahead of time for their homecoming. Nancy Kinzler, Pharm D, Anti-Coagulation Clinic, details why coumadin is given and the importance of monitoring INR levels. Occupational therapist Sarah Thelan gives a presentation on what equipment will be needed to assist with showering and bathing at home after total joint replacement.

Physical therapists Colleen Hatcher, Kenna Sikveland and Jason Brown go over what will take place each day in the hospital—what to expect mobility-wise from the physical therapists and what they will expect of the patient. A question and answer session follows a review of rehabilitation exercises and demonstrations on maneuvering stairs.

Hatcher says the goal of Total Joint Education Camp is two-fold. “We want to answer any and all questions patients have before surgery,” she says. “Knowing ahead of time what’s going to happen can decrease pre-surgery anxiety. We also expect to decrease length of stay by having patients plan ahead for what they need at home after discharge and being aware of average length of stay.” Patient satisfaction with the free pre-surgical sessions will be measured through Avatar ratings.

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