Same-Day Surgery

One way to become acquainted with a health care facility is to spend some time at one. So, after my total hip replacement, I was transported to the Rapid Recovery Unit at Country Manor in Sartell.

Fortunately, St. Cloud Surgical Center and Country Manor’s Rapid Recovery have partnered to provide the care I needed after my total hip replacement. In my mind, we already had the kind of nursing care I needed at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. And many people have similar notions due to the health care system in the United States that promotes total independence in caring for ourselves.

I expected after a few hours at the St. Cloud Surgical Center, I would learn what I needed to know before being released to go home and would rely upon Saint Benedict’s Monastery nurses. Little did I know the powerful effects of an anesthetic and how it would affect me.

Totally believing in the communication and policy of out-care patient aftercare of St. Cloud Surgical Center, I was ready to go home the night of my surgery.

Their instructions on page 4 of the booklet “Before Surgery Checklist” were clear: “You will need a responsible adult to drive you home AND stay with you for 24 hours. Surgery WILL be cancelled if you do not have a driver AND do not have someone to be with you for 24 hours after surgery.”

I understood this as did my nurse driver in our minds. What neither of us understood was the absolute non-wavering of the Center’s policy. We believed we had at our facility of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, what they required.

However, what we did not understand was “have someone with you for 24 hours after surgery.” I was sure that having a nurse nearby was what was meant. She could be in the room next door or down the hall.

Not true. They meant that the nurse had to be in the room with me for 24 hours after the surgery.

Since my surgery was not completed until approximately 6:30 in the evening, many phone calls had to be made to find a place for me.

Since transitional care was already in place, it made sense that I would go to Country Manor. Immediately upon arrival, I was in the care of a staff whose knowledge of rapid recovery was superb. It began with round after round of nurses taking my blood pressure, helping me breathe more deeply, helping me get to the toilet on time, eating properly, taking prescribed meds as well as pain meds, getting in and out of bed, meeting with physical and occupational therapists, learning how to use the walker, and asking any questions I had about pain or doctor instructions.

I was in the right place. It’s crazy how we make up our minds and end up being completely wrong.

Mary Jane Berger, OSB

Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash