To help you adjust quickly and comfortably to your new environment, the nursing staff suggests/wants you to know the following:
- You will be evaluated by the physical therapist the day of surgery or the morning after. In addition to this evaluation, you will attend group therapy at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day you are in the hospital. As your nurses, our goal is to communicate with you and make sure you are properly and appropriately medicated before your therapy.
- It is essential you communicate with us and tell us when your pain starts to increase.
- Invite a family member or loved one to at least one of the therapy classes so they can reinforce your therapy when you get home.
Telephones are available in each room. To make local calls, dial 9 and then the telephone number. To make long distance calls, dial 8-1 and then the area code. You may bring your electronic devices and chargers as well .
- This is a busy day for everyone! Families and loved ones will wait in the waiting room; expect at least four and a half hours to elapse from the time you check in to the time you get to your personal room on the unit.
- When you get to your room, the nursing staff will take a moment to orient you and your loved ones. You will be repositioned and changed into a hospital gown.
- Make sure you share you “Secret/privacy code word” with those you trust with any of your healthcare updates. This is the password you decided on during your Joint Replacement Class.
- Usually, people are sleepy or drowsy the first day. Expect the nursing staff to be checking on you frequently, making sure your vital signs are stable.
- The joint replacement nurse will come by to see you this day or the following day, and make sure you are doing well. She or he will also set you up with any equipment or supplies needed for discharge and continue reinforcing the teaching from Joint Replacement Class.
- A breathing device will be given to you to remind you to take deep breaths every hour you are awake.
- You may be in the recovery room for 30 to 90 minutes, but do not be alarmed if it is longer.
- You will be on oxygen to help you wake up and on pain medications to ease the discomfort.
- Your (vital signs) will be checked frequently.
- Ice or a cold therapy device will be applied to your surgical incision. You will have knee high compression stockings on both legs. IV tubing will be connected to your IV site, giving you fluids to stay hydrated.
- Your joint will have a bulky surgical dressing on it. This dressing stays on until your surgeon tells the nursing staff to change it to a waterproof dressing.
- You will be fatigued. Not only is your body trying to recover, but there will be interruptions to your sleep schedule. We will check on you frequently to ensure your safety.
- Ask for ear plugs or a sleep mask if needed. The staff can even shut your door for quiet. At your request, there is a napping sign that can be placed outside your door to minimize interruptions for a period of time.