Teaching Older Adults

Due to the increased volume of patients, a 75-minute pre-operative class has been planned for the Joint Replacement Center for patients scheduled for knee replacement surgery. This will replace individual pre-operative teaching, and will take place the evening before admission for surgery. Past experience with individuals leads the nurse educator to expect motivated, attentive, moderately anxious participants.

The target audience will be primarily over 60 years old, have regular access to health care, and no other health problems severe enough to rule out the surgery. Occasionally, obesity and diabetes join the primary diagnosis of arthritis.

The class will consist of a PowerPoint lecture created by the nurse on the topics of:  pre-operative preparation, pain control, infection, anticoagulation therapy, incentive spirometry, physical therapy, dietary changes for weight reduction, and discharge planning.

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In addition, an invited speaker who has undergone the procedure will be invited to discuss the recovery period.  Models of the knee joint will be used to demonstrate lecture points. A patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump will be available for simulated use. Booklets from the manufacturers of anticoagulants will be given out.

Outcomes of class attendance are expected to be effective use of pain control measures, participation in physical therapy exercises and respiratory toilet, performance of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prevention exercises, and freedom from operative site infection at follow-up.

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