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Joint Replacement Patient Education
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Plymouth’s joint replacement program includes a comprehensive teaching program. The teaching program was developed because it is crucial that the orthopedic patients and their families understand what is involved in a scheduled hip or knee operation and what is required to prepare for this type of surgery. This includes important transitions from hospital to home, which must be discussed in order to provide seamless care. The attention paid by BID-Plymouth to these transitions, with as many as four pre- and post-operative visits to the patient by a Registered Nurse, makes our program unique. Here is how the program works:
- An orthopedic team nurse visits the patient’s home prior to admission. This offers the patient an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns regarding their upcoming surgery in the comfort of their home. Family members are encouraged to participate, especially those caring for the patient when they return home from surgery.
- During this visit the nurse performs a home safety evaluation, making note of the number of stairs to enter the home, whether rails are present, the location of the patient’s bedroom and bathroom and the height of the tub, toilet, bed, etc.
- Recommendations are made for minor, but important, modifications such as installing a grab bar to help a patient out of a tub or shower enclosure, or tacking down carpets to avoid a potential danger to a patient who is vulnerable to tripping and/or falling.
- The nurse further educates and prepares the patient and family with a comprehensive review of what to expect in the hospital, in rehabilitation and at home to alleviate anxiety.
- In addition, the nurse conducts a thorough review of all current prescriptions, herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications and a plan is made for putting any contraindicated medications on hold prior to surgery.
- The orthopedic program also includes a visit from the same nurse while the patient is in the hospital. An additional visit if the patient is discharged to a short-term rehabilitation center and a final follow-up visit once the patient is home--all to ensure a smooth transition and the best possible patient outcome.
- Prior to surgery, all joint replacement patients and their support team, family members or significant others are encouraged to attend a class held at BID-Plymouth’s main campus where several members of the multi-disciplinary orthopedic team are introduced. Each provides a brief overview of what you will experience.
For a physician referral to one of our orthopedic specialists, call 781-934-2400.