Before having joint replacement surgery, patients at CHI Saint Joseph Health enroll in the Joint Academy, which helps them get ready before and after surgery.
“It’s an educational class designed to help patients prepare for their surgery,” said Liz Lyons, BSN, RN, CRRN, ONC, OMS, orthopedic nurse navigator at Saint Joseph Hospital. “An orthopedic nurse navigator, occupational therapist and physical therapist share information that helps our patients and their caregivers know what to expect every step of the way.”
The two-hour online class includes:
- Pre-op exercises and home care planning
- What to expect while in the hospital directly after surgery
- How to have a successful recovery, including nutritional needs and physical therapy
“The timeframe for recovery varies with each person, but most are able to walk and do basic tasks soon after surgery,” Lyons said. “Patients typically return to their regular functional activity within 4-6 weeks. At the same time, studies show that improvements can be made for 12-18 months postoperatively.”
Your personal nurse navigator is there to assist you every step of the way, answering your questions and helping to coordinate all aspects of your care before and after surgery.
“It’s rewarding to walk with patients on a journey to ‘get their lives back,’” Lyons said. “This surgery is a path toward being able to do the things they haven’t been able to do.”