Joint replacement prep class sets patients up for success
If you need to have knee or hip replacement surgery, knowing what to expect can help make a big difference in your experience. Orthopaedic Program Manager Jennifer Chojnacki, BSN, RN, ONC, teaches a prep class that helps guide patients on their journey from pre-op to recovery. “We focus on patient optimization by preparing them mentally and physically,” she says. “The class helps motivate and engage the patient in creating a positive outcome and puts them at ease so they can get back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Start your race to recovery
Chojnacki educates patients about the details of how long the surgery will take, what options are available for pain management, what happens post-surgery, what rehab will be like, how to get their home set up and much more. “We encourage them to bring their primary care partner with them so that person can learn how best to support the patient once they get home,” says Chojnacki. “During the class, a physical therapist also teaches strengthening exercises to do before and after surgery.”
Former patients also come in to share their success stories and answer questions. “It’s always a nice touch, because patients hear from someone who has experienced the surgery and can learn from that. We always get rave reviews from those who have attended the class. They tell us it helped prepare them and made the whole process that much smoother,” Chojnacki says.
Lunch and Learn
Surgeries are usually done on Mondays and Tuesdays, so on Wednesdays, she and the rehab manager invite patients to a 30-minute “lunch and learn” session. “This lunch social gives them an opportunity to move around and get out of their room, share their experiences with other patients and ask questions,” Chojnacki says. “Another benefit is the friendships that develop between the patients. They help support each other through their recovery.”
The pre-op classes are held every second and fourth Thursday of the month from 3 – 5 p.m., with optimal participation being three to six weeks prior to surgery. Chojnacki says she has patients who come from over an hour’s drive away. “It’s a testament to the care and services we provide. People are coming from long distances to have their surgeries here and attending the class as well. That says a lot.”