Not sure of what to expect as his hip replacement surgery fast approached, Joe Walsh entered Winthrop-University Hospital's Return to Wellness patient education class. Two hours later, he left feeling confident. He was ready for surgery and a change in his quality of life.
Sheila Hoffman traveled in from Cutchogue with a list of questions about her own total hip replacement surgery. She left the class with all the answers she needed.
Every Wednesday morning, Marjorie Kulesa, RN, BS, ONC, CNOR, Winthrop's Orthopaedic Nurse Coordinator, greets an anxious group of patients facing hip or knee replacement surgery. The program offers patients an opportunity to express concerns and ask as many questions as they want.
Marjorie, along with a multidisciplinary team that consists of the assistant nurse manager from the orthopaedic floor, a physical therapist, dietician, pharmacist and discharge planning and home care nurses, ensure that every participant walks away with answers and confidence. Explaining that the surgery is elective, she first informs the group that they have made the right decision. She personally understands.
"My father-in-law went to his grave with a bad hip because he didn't trust anyone," she explains to patients.
"Your decision for a better quality of life after surgery is our goal." She wants patients to understand there are choices, there is help. "They have a right to be free from pain, to have restored mobility and regain an optimum level of health following their surgery," she explained.
During the class Marjorie walks the group through each step of their hospital stay. Arming the patients with a guidebook, she provides checklists, important phone numbers, pre- and post-surgery information including do's and don'ts, home safety information, proper nutrition and pharmacy guidelines and an introduction to the patient care team.
"At first, I wondered why I needed to hear from a dietician since I already know how to eat, but she definitely gave me valuable information that I would not have known if I didn't attend the class," Mrs. Hoffman explained. "In particular, I found out that foods high in vitamin K like broccoli, lettuce and spinach need to be limited to one serving per day because it could interfere with Coumadin, a blood thinner. The program is excellent." For Mr. Walsh and Mrs. Hoffman, the time spent was well worth it.
"The class was helpful and it was very well-run. It was a real class act," Mr. Walsh reflected. "My advice: Take the class so that you find out what the procedure is all about; what to expect and what to do." "I went in with a free mind and left more relaxed," Mrs. Hoffman added. "I had no anxiety about having my hip replaced. I was well-prepared going into surgery, and I left Winthrop feeling that I was getting better, that I was back on the road to recovery." For more information about Winthrop's total hip and knee replacement surgery program, or to learn about the Return to Wellness class, call (516) 663-2283.