Orthopaedic Nurse

Whether it’s your hip or knee, it’s important to find the right orthopaedic surgeon to perform your joint replacement. In addition to a highly trained surgeon, a coordinated and skilled nursing team is key to your recovery after joint replacement surgery.

Orthopaedic nurses are at the frontline of your post-operative care and pain management. They follow your surgeon’s specific care instructions and collaborate with rehabilitation therapists to get you up and moving. Their ultimate focus is to prepare you for a safe discharge home, as soon as possible.

A Highly Rated Team

UPMC Passavant is among the thousands of hospitals that take part in Press Ganey surveys. This questionnaire measures the patient satisfaction of millions of patients nationwide after discharge. Each year, nearly 2,000 patients consistently give high marks to the care they receive from the 65-member orthopaedic nursing team on 5 North at UPMC Passavant.

According to Lisa Bryan-Morris, MSN, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at UPMC Passavant, in the last three years, the unit has consistently exceeded the 90th percentile nationally for patient satisfaction. “That puts the unit among the highest scores nationally,” says Bryan-Morris. “These nurses are dedicated to providing excellent care and a consistently positive patient experience through the application of best practices.”

A Culture of Teamwork

“It takes tremendous coordination to offer our patients a seamless transition home after surgery,” says Shannon Seitz, MSN, RN, PCCN, unit director and nurse leader on 5 North Pavilion. “That’s why we’ve built our unit around a culture of teamwork. We work with one another and with our physical therapists, registered orthopaedic technician, pre- and post-op nurses, and our doctors.”

The unit is an integral part of UPMC Passavant’s Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Center of Excellence. In 2019, UPMC Health Plan recognized the hospital’s surgical facilities and orthopaedic surgeons for demonstrating high-quality outcomes, low complication rates, and the best patient experience.

According to Seitz, nurses in the unit regularly collaborate and meet with surgeons, anesthesiologists, physical therapist, and the pre- and post-op nursing team.

“By working across disciplines, we’re able to make sure that everything we do results in consistent care for each patient we see,” says Seitz.

They also work with peers at other UPMC hospitals to share knowledge and incorporate best practices.

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A Restorative Atmosphere

Three years ago, 5 North Pavilion was renovated to support patient comfort and recovery. Every room is private, brightened by floor to ceiling windows, with individual bathrooms and showers.

“Our rehabilitation gym is also right on the floor, so there’s no downtime taking patients to a different floor,” says Seitz. “Once they’re up and dressed, patients can head right to the gym for physical therapy. They can also walk our floor as part of their recovery, which has milestones marked.”

In May, Ross Township resident Terry Mohr fractured his right hip. He underwent hip repair surgery at UPMC Passavant and recovered on 5 North. “The doctors, physician assistants, nurses, as well as the dining service and housekeeping staff, provided me with top-level treatment. They enabled me to heal and improve faster than many thought possible,” he says.

Educating Patients

“Experience shows us that the more a patient knows coming into surgery, the better,” says Seitz. “Our pre-operative education and testing center helps a patient and their designated support person understand everything they need to do before surgery. Patients also receive information on how to manage after surgery.”

A special focus of patient education includes effective pain management. “We have a host of resources to help patients control pain without using opioids,” says Seitz. “They range from mindfulness applications and aromatherapy to stress balls and journaling.”

A Commitment to Continual Improvement

UPMC Passavant holds prestigious Magnet® designation — the “gold standard” of nursing excellence nationwide.

Magnet designation is granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to fewer than 7% of all hospitals. It recognizes quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice.

“Having the Magnet status is a real badge of honor for our nurses,” says Seitz. “It’s one of the reasons we set the bar high for ourselves and our patients.” Magnet designation is based on a number of quality nurse indicators, including the number of certified nurses. “The certification for orthopaedic nurses is a particularly challenging exam. But as usual, the 5 North Pavilion team exceeded expectations,” says Bryan-Morris.

The unit set a two-year goal to reach 30% professional certification among its eligible professional nurses. Instead, a remarkable 43.3% achieved certification.

“When patients come to UPMC Passavant for a joint replacement, they can be confident that they’re receiving world-class, compassionate care by highly trained experts,” says Michael Pagnotto, MD, medical director of joint replacement surgery at UPMC Passavant. “Our program is a hospital-wide commitment to quality performance and patient satisfaction that starts at the top with Susan Hoolahan, president of UPMC Passavant.”

According to Dr. Pagnotto, studies show that when a hospital specializes in certain surgeries and performs many of them, the quality and consistency of that procedure improves. “That’s what our program is all about,” says Dr. Pagnotto, an expert in robotic orthopaedic surgery. “We interact and communicate with one another. Everybody understands the program from beginning to end. The result is a consistent, high-quality experience for each patient.”

Learn more about the orthopaedic surgery team and services at UPMC Passavant.

About UPMC Orthopaedic Care

When you are dealing with bone, muscle, or joint pain, it can affect your daily life. UPMC Orthopaedic Care can help. As a national leader in advanced orthopaedic care, we diagnose and treat a full range of musculoskeletal disorders, from the acute and chronic to the common and complex. We provide access to UPMC’s vast network of support services for both surgical and nonsurgical treatments and a full continuum of care. Our multidisciplinary team of experts will work with you to develop the treatment plan that works best for you. Our care team uses the most innovative tools and techniques to provide better outcomes. We also are leaders in research and clinical trials, striving to find better ways to provide our patients care. With locations throughout our communities, you can find a provider near you.