Registered Nurse – Silver Cross Hospital School of Nursing , Joliet IL
Bachelor of Science – Lewis University, Joliet IL.
I am a registered nurse on a 27 bed orthopedic unit. I care for patients in their post-operative period. My role as team leader is to facilitate good patient care and to participate in the team process of rehabilitation. It is important that patients understand their role in their rehabilitation process.
I have seen many changes in my 15 years as an orthopedic nurse. One of the most dramatic changes has been in the length of stay for our patients. I remember when a total knee (or hip) patient stayed in the hospital 7 days, now they stay 3 to 4 days. That makes my job much more challenging.
Orthopedic nursing at UW means being part of a team which includes a physical therapist and a discharge planner. Together we coordinate an individualized plan of care for each patient. I enjoy the daily meetings we have for all of our patients. It allows all the team members to be “on the same page”. By working together the team gets the patients on his/her feet and ready for the next phase of the rehabilitation.
I enjoy patient teaching. By keeping patients informed on a daily basis, they learn to become part of their rehabilitation process, which improves their outcome. I enjoy seeing our patients move better, have less pain, feel that their lives are returning to normal. For many of our patients their lives change significantly for the better as they regain lost mobility and function. That is exciting to see.
I also enjoy working with the specialized orthopedic surgeons. Our patients come from all over the state and beyond to get the best possible results here at UW. Our surgeons often tackle the complicated cases and those that fail to heal correctly the first time. However, they are available for routine and non-routine procedures alike
The most rewarding thing about my job is to see the smiles on patient’s faces as they stand tall and resume their lives with greater activity and less pain. I enjoy talking to patients as they return for their clinic visits and hearing their stories of upcoming family gatherings and vacations which they can now look forward to enjoying.