The wards are obviously one of the most important areas in the clinic from a patient perspective and therefore from our perspective. Patients will spend more time in here than anywhere else and therefore it needs to be comfortable, immaculately clean and an environment that promotes a feeling of wellbeing. This combination is achieved primarily by making sure that it is manned at all times by a team of nurses who care passionately about how their patients feel.
Of course the structure of the wards matters on a number of levels, but it is the people in here who add this sense of warmth and turn a room in our hospital into an environment that is conducive to recovery. We are blessed with a group of nurses who combine excellent technical and practical nursing knowledge with a compassionate attitude to patient care.
Patients are not simply assessed “through the cage door” but handled and petted in order to make them feel secure and as part of our Pain-Score assessment our nursing staff cultivate a strong bond with all our patients. This means our patients are surrounded by familiar faces throughout their stay in hospital. Of course some patients need more privacy than others and this is always respected as far as is possible.
All staff disinfect their hands between patients. Kennels are cleaned and bedding changed twice daily as a minimum but immediately if there has been any soiling of the bedding. All our bedding is laundered using the Otex sterilisation system which thoroughly disinfects the bedding. After a patient has gone home, the kennel is thoroughly cleaned and this is checked by means of environmental bacteriology swabs. These are taken routinely and submitted to an external Laboratory in order to ensure that patient accommodation is suitable for the next patient who will occupy it. If only human hospitals were this thorough!
Part of good patient management is attention to detail regarding patient notes. There is a paper set at each bed and a computerised version. Parameters such as eating, tolietting, medications, demeanour and pain score are regularly checked and noted along with the usual Temperature-Pulse-Respiration.
We use a Pain-Scoring system that all of our staff are familiar with and that has been devised and evolved at Torrington Orthopaedics. This allows us to tailor each patient’s pain relief to meet their needs and to ensure a great start to the recovery process.
We recognise that each patient is an individual with individual needs. We have a holistic approach to pain management recognising that TLC plays an important role in reducing stress and therefore helping reduce pain perception. We also use ice massage, physiotherapy techniques and acupuncture as well as having a large armoury of pharmaceutical pain relief for comfort.
Access to this area is not permitted without changing into indoor shoes or wearing shoe covers. As this area is closely linked to our theatres this is the first line of defence against environmental contamination.
With a state of the art Digital radiography machine we can reduce the time to gather the important images that guide diagnosis and (if indicated) surgical management. Our consistent positioning techniques and excellent staff training mean that we can have diagnostic quality images every time.
This is where we anaesthetise patients and get them ready for investigations and surgery. We take joint fluid samples and perform examination of joints under anaesthesia. Pre surgical Preparation of the patient is carried out in the Prep area. Surgery is never performed in this area of course.
Not all of our patients need to see this far into Torrington Orthopaedics. Surgery is only useful when the target is as clear as the benefits. We plan each surgery carefully to reduce the risks and maximise outcomes.
We follow the WHO (World Health Organisation) surgical and anaesthesia safety checklist protocols that we have evolved for use in our surgical unit. This system has been shown to be important in reducing post operative complication rates.
Both theatres have positive pressure ventilation to reduce the ingress of contaminants from outside the theatre as well as air purifying units. All staff wear a mask, surgical scrubs and a hair cover. The surgeons wear an additional impervious gown and two sets of gloves. The use of double gloving is especially important in orthopaedics where sharp implants and instruments may penetrate the gloved hand. As part of our checklist protocol gloves are checked at the end of surgery for any potential breach of sterility.
Excellent lighting, anaesthetic monitoring equipment and highly trained staff are essential in theatre. A focussed and attentive atmosphere pervades theatre where those involved are never interrupted by other activities in the clinic ensuring that the patient's well being and the surgery at hand are the sole interest of all theatre staff.
All of our equipment is to the highest specifications. We don't believe that cheaper implants or equipment saves money in the long run and so we source all implants and surgical kit from reputable quality providers. By using consistently well manufactured implants we can minimise the risk of implant failure following surgery.