Nurse Navigator Walks Patients Through Surgical Process

Monday, October 24, 2016


 When someone makes the decision to have joint surgery, understanding the process can be confusing. That’s where Teresa Ingle, RN, comes in. She’s a nurse navigator for Hamilton Medical Center’s Joint Moves program.

“The patients and family members receive a lot of information, but sometimes have a hard time remembering it all,” Ingle said. “It helps for them to have a familiar face that they can contact when they have questions.”  

Ingle serves as an educator and advocate for the patient and the patient’s family. She presents the weekly Joint Moves classes that patients attend prior to their surgery.

“I try to prepare them (patients) for what is ahead and what to expect,” Ingle said. “We talk about preparation for surgery, what happens during the surgery and what they should expect following their surgery. I am their cheerleader. I give them support and encouragement when they feel down.”

Ingle meets the patients in to review education with them and their family members.  “I try to reassure them and try to make them feel less nervous – something that’s very normal before any operation,” she said.  

After the surgery, Ingle assists with care on the floor and continues education there. She follows the patient until they leave to go home.  Patients are encouraged to call her regarding any issue that may arise.

“I enjoy hearing everyone’s story,” said Ingle. “I enjoy watching them make progress and exceed their own expectations.  Most of all, I enjoy talking with them weeks after the surgery when they tell me they wish they hadn’t waited so long – that their quality of life has improved.”

Hamilton Medical Center (HMC) has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for shoulder replacement, by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes HMC’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

Shoulder replacement is part of HMC’s Joint Moves program, which also includes total hip and total knee replacement surgery. HMC also holds The Joint Commission certification for hip and knee replacement.


Photo: Teresa Ingle, RN