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Joining us is Tristam Cumming, Nurse Manager, with Hurley's Center for Joint Replacement, a Blue Cross Center of Distinction and one of the top ten joint replacement centers in the country. Tristam will be discussing the pre and post surgical experience and the continuum of care provided for patients and their families at Hurley's Center for Joint Replacement.
This Think Healthy, Think Hurley interview was brought to you by Hurley Medical Center, the region's premiere public teaching hospital in Flint, Michigan. This Blog TalkRadio is another way Hurley is educating the greater Genesee County community about health and wellness. For more than a century, Hurley has been providing the most comprehensive clinical and compassionate care for patients and their families. I'm your host Ilene Cantor, and today's topic is Hurley's Center for Joint Replacement. Joining us now is Tristam Cumming, the Nurse Manager in Hurley's Center for Joint Replacement. Thank you for joining us today.
It's so nice to be with you.
Thank you Tristam. Tell us a little bit about the Center for Joint Replacement and what it's like.
Well, the Center for Joint Replacement at Hurley is just beautiful. It is very intimate, it's warm, it's inviting. It really embodies Hurley's mission, which is clinical excellence and service to people. You really find that on the Center for Joint Replacement. We have kind, competent, caring nurses. We have dedicated therapist that will approach your care from a patient and family-centered perspective.
Now the Center for Joint Replacement, as you said, it is often described by some as a medical bed and breakfast, because the surroundings, the wood floors, the flowers, the peaceful murals, and the homey decor are so warm and inviting. What type of reactions do you get from patients who arrive?
Well, when we designed this unit, we really put a lot of thought into how our patients would feel while they were our guest. So, we specifically chose colors and decor that were very non-clinical, so that you would get that feeling like a bed and breakfast. It's not at all institutional. It's so warm. We have a beautiful inspiring mural of the Meccano Bridge. So our patients that are coming for such specialized care and have a very structured stay, they are able to measure their progress against that Meccano Bridge everyday when they're walking. Imitations are very impressed by that. They really like it. They love the atmosphere. I think that the most exciting thing for the patients and the families that come here is how welcoming the unit is for family, because we specifically welcome the care partners right at the bedside 24/7. We have accommodating space for them. We have sleeping arrangements for them. We feed them. We also welcome their extended friends and family into the patient rooms or we have a specific dining room, where there is always fresh coffee and tea, comfortable sitting, television and privacy. So the patients are usually extremely impressed.
And what type of surgeries and replacements do patients have, while they are staying in the Center for Joint Replacement?
Well the patients that chose Center for Joint Replacement are having elective joint replacements. They are people that have been suffering with pain in their shoulders, knees or hips usually for years before they finally decide that they're missing out an enough of their active productive lives that they wanted to do something about it. So they take time out of their lives to make a plan with their physicians and replace their poorly working shoulders, knees, or hips with pain-free, smooth prosthetic joints. It's a big decision and we are always really impressed and amazed, and how brave our patients are and touched by their choice to allow us to be part of their journey. We have a great deal of respect for the seriousness of any surgical intervention. So, even though we have gone out of our ways, to make the unit really pleasant to look at and comfortable to recover in, the true draw for people from the community should be the fact that the nurses and therapists on our unit are absolutely experts in what they do. It is very reassuring for our patients that the nurses that are by their side from the moment they opened their eyes after surgery, take care of joint replacement patients everyday. So, they really understand what should happen during recovery and immediately are able to recognize if anything isn't exactly as it should be. They are really the sharpest tacts and they're trained to know these complications before they even become serious. They're better cheerleaders, they do find that any football game, they celebrate with patients and their care partners and coaches as each small goal is met. They hold hands, they rub backs, they anticipate what you need before you even know you need it because this is their specialty. The patients that would choose us would be astounded at the types of relationships we can build with our patients in just two to three days.
What type of advice would you have for patients before this type of journey, Tristam?
Well, they really need to know that they have the time and the ability to go through this process, to follow up afterwards with outpatient therapy and recovery. They want to know, definitely who their coach or support person, care partner, whatever term you prefer will be because that such an integral part of that. They should know that they would want to start exercising before surgery even start. They should know that they'll have access to a free membership at Hurley Health and Fitness Center that includes six-free pool visits and they should know that they've decided to place their care in the hands of clinically excellent staff and a truly quality program, where Blue Cross Center of Distinction, we're one of the top ten joint replacement centers in the United States and our patients' satisfaction scores are through the roof.
How important is support, when going to this type of surgery and the importance of having a love one or close friend be part of the recovery experience for someone that says, "Well I can go through with it, it is no big deal, I don't have to have someone." How would you react if someone says such a comment and talking and seeing for yourself the amazing support system in this type of recovery, it is really win-win isn't it?
Absolutely. It's really, really extremely important. The evidence is very strong that the patients that choose to have that support person by their side have the best outcomes. Hurley overall has moved to this patient and
family-centered care model, which just means that the patient and family or care partners are leading the team or the treatment team. It sounds really simple, but before this idea came into its time, doctors and nurses thought of taking care of patients. And that left our patients in the dark a lot. Now, with the evidence that has shown us that this is the best way to do things, we've made the patient, the strong number of the treatment team and the patient's goal are our goals. So we're here to make sure that the patients having tools and knowledge to be successful. But we know that we have a very small window of time this is only a two- or three-day hospital stay after an elective joint replacement. So after surgery, people do have some pain and sometimes anesthesia makes people a little bit out of it. So it's just a vital to have that support person by your side because that way everything that we teach you, we also teach them and it seems there so much to learn. It's really best that it's heard by more than one set of ears, so that when you go home, you feel really confident that if you don't remember something small, your support person will remember it for you.
Any final advice or tips you have for someone contemplating having orthopedic surgery and a stay at the Center for Joint Replacement, Tristam?
Sure. I think that it would be a very good idea to make sure that you have a great experienced orthopedic surgeon. You want to make sure that that surgeon is affiliated with Hurley Medical Center so that you can come and be with us on the Center for Joint Replacement. Some people's insurance requires them to ask their family doctor for a referral, so just make sure that you're telling them that you want to go see someone that will do the surgery at Hurley. If you have any questions about orthopedic surgeons, you can call Family Orthopedics, their number is 733-1200. I would definitely advise people to attend one of the free seminars that we've been doing. I would definitely advise people to take advantage of that complementary one month Hurley Health and Fitness Center membership. I would tell them to be prepared to experience something really wonderful, something really incredible. Be prepared for a fruitful circle continuum of care from the initial conversations with your surgeon, through the pre-surgical experiences, through surgery, through therapy, through all of the follow up. I would tell them to be prepared for a holistic experience, where we care about all of you and your family, not just your joint that's not working anymore. I would tell them to be prepared from a seamless same day surgical experience and I would tell them to be really prepared for us to just wow them.
Well, that's wonderful advice and thank you for those parting comments. Tristam Cumming, Nurse Manager Hurley Center for Joint Replacement. This Think Healthy, Think Hurley interview was brought to you by Hurley Medical Center. If you would like to find a Hurley physician, please call 888-611-4HMC.
It's good to talk.