Joint Replacement Education
Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth’s joint replacement program includes a comprehensive teaching program that has been in place for 13 years. 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 Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth to these transitions, with as many as four pre- and post-operative visits to the patient by a Registered Nurse (RN), makes our program unique. Here is how the program works:
- An orthopedic team RN 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. This is the first step in designing a custom plan of care for each patient.
- 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. This quality program ensures that the patient will be able to safely maneuver within their home, and that they will have the proper equipment when they come back home after surgery.
- 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. There is an in-depth discussion of the medications that will be added to the patient’s routine upon returning home, especially regarding the drug Coumadin or Warfarin, which is a blood thinner.
- 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 to provide continuity and 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 Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth’s main campus where several members of the multi-disciplinary orthopedic team are introduced. The Physical Therapist (PT) provides a brief overview of the hospital experience, including the rehabilitation process. The Occupational Therapist (OT) presents and explains the adaptive equipment that the patient may use after surgery. The Discharge Planning Specialist explores rehabilitation/home care options and insurance issues while encouraging patients to call with any questions or concerns. For dates and times for these education classes, please click here.
For a physician referral to one of our fine orthopedic specialists, call 1-800-2JORDAN (800-256-7326).
If you have any questions about our orthopedic program, please call 800 (TBA), or email the Total Joint Replacement Team by clicking on “contact us” from the home page, and choosing “orthopedic/total joint replacement” from the pull down menu. Someone will respond to your inquiry promptly.
Download: Your Guide to Hip Replacement Surgery (pdf)