Operation Scheduled? Talk to a Surgery Educator.

Preparing for surgery can be nerve-wracking. At HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, surgery educators put patients’ minds at ease by sharing needed information.

Every patient scheduled for surgery at HSHS Sacred Heart or St. Joseph’s hospitals meets with a surgery educator—a nurse whose job is help patients understand what to expect before, during, and after their operation.

“Knowledge is powerful,” says Kelli Olson, BBA, BSN, RN, CNOR, Surgical Services Manager at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital. “Surgery educators explain every aspect of surgery to help alleviate anxiety and eliminate surprises.”

Knowing What to Expect

Every person scheduled for inpatient or outpatient surgery at the hospitals receives a phone call from a surgery educator one to two days before the procedure to discuss:

  • Medications, including which to discontinue before surgery, and allergies
  • What the patient can and cannot eat before surgery
  • What to do and expect on the day of surgery, including when to arrive, where to park, where to go after entering the hospital, what to bring with them, and what to leave at home
  • Past medical history and current medications to ensure the time before your surgery goes as smoothly as possible Patients who understand what surgery entails and why it is important to follow the medical team’s instructions are more likely to have a smooth, safe experience and successful result.

 When you are scheduled for surgery, prepare a list of questions to ask your surgery educator. For more information about what to expect, review the Preop Instructions for Patients checklist at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital or HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital.

 You may also be interested in “How to Be an Empowered Patient.”