Schedule Now Pay Bill
be_ixf;ym_202309 d_26; ct_50

Eye on Health: Beacon nurse navigators assist orthopedic patients along their care journey

Dr. Gregg Ebersole, Diane Dudek Parmelee and Sally Hull.

Navigating the timeline of an orthopedic surgery can feel intimidating during what is already a stressful time for many patients. That’s why the Beacon Bone & Joint Specialists team is thankful for its nurse navigators to guide patients along their care journey.

Nurse navigators help patients get the care they need before and after surgery. That way, the only thing orthopedic patients like Diane Dudek Parmelee have to focus on is healing, so they can get back to doing the things they love to do.

Parmelee talks about the experience of working with a nurse navigator and the Beacon orthopedic team in this month’s WSBT Eye on Health. (The video is also available at the end of this story.)

She remembers all too well the pain she felt just walking. It was unbearable at times, which finally led Parmelee to have total joint replacement surgery in February 2022.

“You just kind of live with (the pain) and don’t think about it,” said Parmelee, who worked in the medical field for almost 45 years as a nurse. She retired from Beacon Health System.

Parmelee described how that intense hip pain was gone almost immediately after her procedure with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gregg Ebersole.

“And I was just so surprised that the recovery time was as quick as it was,” she said.

She credits Beacon’s nurse navigator program with making the entire process so much easier. She worked with Sally Hull, FNP-BC, whose job as a nurse navigator involves streamlining the surgery process for patients. Hull sets appointments, evaluates what patients will need at home after surgery and serves as a direct point of contact to answer any questions.

Because of the close connection that often develops between navigator and patient, Hull and patients like Parmelee often keep in touch long after discharge.

“The relationship starts during our first phone call and continues long after surgery,” Hull says. “Patients and their family members are comfortable calling or emailing the navigator for a quick answer. The navigators have easy access to the surgeons and their offices to help address needs quickly. The relationships I build with my patients is by far the best part of the job.”

Hear more from Parmelee, Dr. Ebersole and Hull in the video story below. And for information about Beacon Orthopedic Specialties, or to schedule an appointment, visit our Beacon website.