Orthopedic Transitional Care
For Margaret Partipilo, RN, MSN-BC and unit manager with the Transitional Care of Arlington Heights Orthopedic Care program, every day is an adventure.
A self-professed healthcare junky since the age of 17, three decades (and then some!) later, she fully appreciates the magnitude of the situations with which she is presented and her opportunity to serve.
“Some of our ortho guests are really young,” she reflects. “They’ve maybe had a car accident, and their whole life has changed. For them, it’s not just the physical aspect that we need to tend to, but also the psycho/social, family and ongoing education we need to address.”
But, as difficult as it may seem, Margaret says, “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel—that’s the beauty of this Center. We have to get them back as close as possible to their prior level of functioning and return to home, wherever home may be.”
And, for up to 28 guests a day, that’s exactly what Margaret and the TCAH Orthopedic Care team do.
TCAH Orthopedic Care provides comprehensive orthopedic injury and joint replacement recovery to help patients successfully return to their normal activities following knee, hip and shoulder replacement, amputation, spinal surgery, fractures and various accidents. Following hospitalization, guests rehab with TCAH for as little as three days and up to 21 days depending on their diagnosis and surgeon’s preference.
Margaret says their team approach is the secret to their success. “Things change quickly here,” she quips. “Our inter-disciplinary team—a nurse, therapist and social worker—huddle every morning to discuss how we can best meet each guest’s, surgeon’s and family members’ immediate and long-term needs.”
Having previously worked in home care, acute care and skilled nursing, Margaret feels that the unique, dedicated approach to exclusively short-term care that TCAH offers is ideal for post-acute orthopedic care. “This concept is SO wonderful and conducive to healing. Our whole approach is ‘Get stronger. Get better. And GO HOME!’”
The Ultimate Compliment
But, some of Margaret’s patients actually do come back. “I have repeat guests—people who come in for one knee or hip and come back again for the second.” says Margaret. “To me, that’s the biggest form of flattery. It’s a privilege to take care of them again!”
Margaret also sees many of the same surgeons—from nearby and as far away as Chicago and the North Shore—referring patients to her team’s care.
“We frequently see the same surgeons, which feels good. They have the confidence in us to continue to refer to us, and that speaks for itself. Plus, we get to know what each doctor wants and expects and what information we need to convey. It makes for more of a partnership, which just makes the patient’s transition better.”