Health Care

December 20, 2013

Galichia nurse navigators aid joint replacement patients

Galichia Heart Hospital has started a new program for joint replacement patients.

Galichia Heart Hospital has started a new program for joint replacement patients.

The hospital began the push to perform more orthopedic surgeries about a year ago, but recently started offering a nurse navigator program for those patients to help them before, during and after surgery.

The program is modeled after a similar program at Wesley Medical Center, which acquired Galichia in February 2012.

“Patients just do better when they have someone to help hold their hand throughout the whole journey, someone checking in on them, making sure they’re informed and in place,” said Amanda Page, Galichia Heart Hospital knee and hip program coordinator and nurse navigator.

Page said that the navigator program is unique because the patient will be dealing with the same nurse before, during and after the surgery, which will give them consistency in care.

She often meets patients for the first time at seminars designed to give prospective patients more information about joint replacement surgery, which is generally considered elective.

The hospitals offer a free, 90-minute, pre-operation class twice a month about what to expect with the surgeries. The classes are taught by the nurse navigators.

If patients can’t come to the class, Page says she’ll send them a packet by mail and go over it with them on the phone.

After a joint replacement, the typical hospital stay is three days, Page said. Patients then have physical therapy for several weeks after the procedure. During that time, she will also call and check on the patients.

“One thing that’s special about Galichia is we have all of the technology of a bigger hospital like Wesley, but have a small hospital feel, so people feel more like family here even though the program is similar,” Page said. “That’s something unique to us.”

About 100 hip and knee replacement surgeries have been performed at Galichia since it started offering them about a year ago, a Wesley spokesman said.

Galichia Heart Hospital is a 99-bed hospital located at 2610 N. Woodlawn.

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