Joint Wellness Program at Methodist Hospital for Surgery
In order to better serve its patients, Methodist Hospital for Surgery has created a joint wellness program to teach patients and their families about what to expect before, during and after a surgical procedure. The program was launched earlier in the summer with the intention of reducing potential fear and anxiety for each person coming to the hospital, regardless of if they are a patient or a caregiver.
Central to the program is a joint class, which is taught by Candace Callegan, who brings over 25 years of nursing experience to the job of joint coordinator. In the class, Callegan walks patients and caregivers through the joint replacement process, including helping with the coordination of their pre-op testing and ensuring they have medical clearance prior to their procedure.
Each joint class runs 1.5 to 2 hours in length and contains no more than 10 patients and their family members or friend who will serve as coach during the process. Each class begins with a brief history of Methodist Hospital for Surgery and includes introductions to staff members, such as the CEO, respiratory therapists, physical therapist, case management and the manager of pre-op and recovery – all of the individuals a patient will encounter during their stay. Class content covers both knee and hip replacement surgery.
Classes are typically scheduled several weeks prior to surgery in order to fit into the patient’s schedule. Because patients go through the class in groups, they are able to build connections with other patients who are having the same surgery, possibly even on the same day. While the class is not mandatory for patients facing surgery, staff members at the hospital – including nurses, surgeons and physical therapists – have noted more positive patient attitudes and greater compliance and understanding, as well as less anxiety and fear from those who attend the class.
Following surgery, patients can expect to receive several follow-up phone calls from Callegan, the joint coordinator, inquiring about their progress and if they have any questions.