The Joint Replacement Club is located in a separate wing on the 2nd floor of Hoke Hospital. This is to keep patients with serious illnesses or infections away from the Joint Replacement Club patients to reduce the risk of infection. Joint replacement surgery is not performed on sick patients, so patients do not wear hospital gowns or pajamas.
Each morning the patient is assisted to get up, get washed and change into comfortable clothes – shorts and T-shirt or sweatpants and sweatshirt depending on their personal comfort level. The patient will sit up in a recliner for breakfast and then go to group physical therapy. All patients participate in group therapy for an hour in the morning and in the afternoon. Participants are also encouraged to walk when they are not in therapy.
To make the experience more fun, the Joint Replacement Club has adopted a horse racing theme, called the “Race 2 Recovery.” In the hallway, distances are mapped in feet, and participants track how far they walk each day. This engenders some competition and camaraderie among the Joint Replacement Club members.
The patient is called the Jockey in the Race 2 Recovery. The family member or close friend who is helping the patient is called the Chief Trainer. The nurses, physical therapists and other healthcare team members are called the Pit Crew.
Joint Replacement Clubs have been shown to improve outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and reduce length of stay. But patients find the experience is just more enjoyable.