Joint replacement improves the quality of life for a patient who has been experiencing pain and restricted mobility. But it is a major surgical procedure, and patients have many questions about the surgery and the recovery process. In response to these concerns, Three Rivers Health now offers Joint Camp, staffed by award-winning experts in joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation, to provide answers and support.
Joint Camp is a wellness-oriented program geared to the patient. It offers education about the procedure and guidance to help the patient return to normal activities after surgery. The word “camp” brings to mind counselors and camaraderie. Joint Camp’s “counselors” are nurses, therapists, pharmacists, care coordinators, and discharge planners who provide the expertise and encouragement needed to enhance the patient’s recovery.
About two or three weeks prior to surgery, patients and coaches attend a Joint Camp class taught by orthopedic nurses and therapists. The class covers the surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, and the transition back home. More importantly, the patients get a chance to meet others who will be going through the same procedure.
During the hospital stay following surgery, Joint Camp continues. The orthopedic staff works with the patient to begin regaining strength and mobility. The patient participates in individual and group therapy sessions. Patients encourage each other and provide moral support. Before leaving the hospital, patients receive detailed information about medications, precautions, follow-up care, and the exercise program by expert nurses and therapists.
After patients have returned home, the Joint Camp staff follows-up to address any concerns and to ensure that patients are making progress in achieving their goals. During physical therapy sessions, the patient likely will be with fellow campers. Seeing how others are progressing is motivating to patients.
Joint Camp’s patient education, coaching, and group support have proven to be a successful format with quicker recoveries and positive attitudes expressed by the “campers” in the program. For more information, contact Gretchen Carpenter at 269.278.1145, extension 398.