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Nothing but admiration for everyone at Beebe

Celebrating Excellent Care are (l-r) Nina Cameron, physical therapist assistant; Michelle Schaffner, RN; and Don Kung, physical therapist. SUBMITTED PHOTO
August 29, 2017

Michelle Schaffner is a registered nurse who recently underwent a knee replacement procedure at Beebe Healthcare. Michelle's professional journey is impressive. She has been a licensed professional nurse for 41 years. The first 25 years of her career were spent at the patient's bedside, and in the years that followed she practiced in a variety of outpatient settings. Her career experience gave her a thorough understanding of the importance of linking outpatient and inpatient care to achieve the best patient outcome possible. Knowing this, she was pleased to see that both her physician and Beebe Healthcare shared that common goal.

Michelle's knee replacement experience began in her physician's office. Through the information provided there, her Beebe experience started well before she stepped into the hospital. Beebe Healthcare's joint replacement program and procedures extend far beyond the hospital's walls. Michelle said, "Right from the beginning, their collaborative efforts were at work to assure a smooth surgical and recovery experience for me.

"Being a patient, you receive a lot of information from many sources in a short period of time. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and confused by the instruction you receive. Through the patient education programs made available by Beebe Healthcare, much of that confusion is prevented. I especially enjoyed the Beebe Joint Replacement Training Camp, which, through the staff of Beebe's Orthopedic Department, provides valuable preadmission and postoperative information. After participating, I understood why my physician's office felt so strongly about the program. I was part of a class of about eight people who were preparing for a joint replacement procedure. For some of these people, this was going to be their first surgical experience. Melissa Heldreth was our instructor that day, and everyone was invited to ask questions. The written information I received was also essential. It is a very worthwhile program."

After attending Joint Camp, patients are familiar with Beebe well before the date of their surgery. They know exactly where to park, where to go in the hospital, and what to expect during their preoperative and postoperative care. Michelle noted, "The pre-op team was very friendly, efficient, and reassuring. Upon admission to my room after surgery, my nurses Meghan, Emily, and Lisa were wonderful. Their attention to all their patients appeared to be meticulous. I was impressed by how strictly they adhered to patient safety and fall prevention protocols, assuring that my plan of care had been designed just for me. Their attention to detail was wonderful, their friendliness and patience very reassuring."

The nurses, physical therapists, and case manager on the Orthopaedic Services floor work as a team to help all their joint replacement patients get home as soon as possible. Michelle said, "That was my goal, and everyone helped to make that happen. I wanted to do as much as I could as soon as I could; it was a great team effort. I arrived for my knee replacement surgery at 8 a.m. in the morning and was at home by 2 p.m. the following day.

"Upon my discharge I was told to expect a visit from Beebe Home Care Services within 24 hours. The next day I met Cindy, my case manager; Marissa, my nurse; and my physical therapists, Eric and Debra. They explained how everything was going to proceed and then we were off to the races. My Home Care Services team was there to work with me every other day. Our goal was good wound management and to get me to the point where I could attend more extensive physical therapy at Beebe's outpatient facility. Through their efforts, we achieved that goal very quickly.

"The physical therapy group at the Beebe Health Campus on Route 24 near Rehoboth Beach are the people I spent the most time with. Don and Nina did a great job with me over the many weeks of my treatment. They were patient and understanding with me, especially on the days that I wasn't always in the mood to be there. I'm just being honest. They were also very committed to me, and they didn't let me get away with anything. They made sure that I knew that I was there to do a job. They were instrumental in getting me back to my day-to-day life and responsibilities. They were wonderful to me, and they do great work.

"My Beebe experience started at the physician's office, and my follow-up care has continued with my physician's office. Postoperatively, Beebe coordinated with my physician's office to make sure that my discharge to outpatient care ran smoothly. This continuity of care is a very important part of the whole recovery process,” she said.

"I'm proud to be a nurse - I always have been, and I always will be. At times like this I can see myself standing there in those same scrubs, doing the job they are doing, and I know that it is a very important one. Having stood where they stand, I have nothing but admiration for everyone at Beebe who cared for me and everyone who put me on my path to recovery. It is nice to know someone appreciates your efforts toward recovery, and I believe that every person who was a part of my care played an essential role in helping me to achieve my goal. I truly appreciate and thank them all."

Beebe Healthcare received The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Joint Replacement - Hip, Joint Replacement - Knee, and Spine Surgery. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization's commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. Beebe Healthcare is a recipient of the Healthgrades Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award for 10 years in a row (2007-16), and is the only recipient in Delaware and on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Michelle and her husband Rick are members of the Beebe Medical Foundation's 1916 Club. The 1916 Club was started as part of Beebe's 100th Anniversary Celebration and has grown to over 200 members. Members of the 1916 Club make a gift of $1,916 or more to the Annual Fund to help change and save lives daily at Beebe Healthcare. The total giving of the 1916 Club members is over a half million dollars every year. 1916 Club members will attend an exclusive President's Dinner at Baywood this fall to be recognized for their leadership support and see a preview of Beebe Healthcare's new facility designs. The Beebe Medical Foundation invites all leaders in the community to join the 1916 Club. You can learn more about the 1916 Club by going online to www.beebemedicalfoundation.org, or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or write to foundation@beebehealthcare.org.

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