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Kim Deakle, for seven years a night-shift RN on the University of South Alabama Medical Center’s sixth floor orthopedic unit, has been promoted to unit educator.
“Basically, we keep nurses up to date on new policies for the unit,” Deakle says. “We also educate patients before surgery, particularly total joint replacement.”
The nurse educator is part of a multi-disciplinary team working with patients, she says. The dietitian helps prepare patients with a healthier diet. The respiratory therapist helps patients learn breathing exercises to increase lung capacity, so it’s easier to recover from anesthesia. The pharmacist helps patients learn about medications, especially pain medications, and how to use them wisely. The physical therapist helps patients learn exercises that can help strengthen them before and after surgery.
“My end is letting the patients know how to deal with the surgery itself.”
She shares a short film explaining the procedure and explains what to expect before, during and after the surgery. Knowing what to expect keeps the experience from being so frightening, she says, “and hopefully it gives the patient a better outcome.”
A Mobile native and a graduate of the University of Alabama, Deakle began her nursing career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but was drawn back to Mobile after just a couple of years. She has worked at USA Medical Center ever since.
With the new role, she says, “I still focus on patient care, just from a different perspective.”
About the University of South Alabama Medical Center
The University of South Alabama Medical Center offers patient-centered care to the central Gulf Coast with unique services including Mobile’s only Level I Trauma Center and Regional Burn Center, plus Centers of Excellence in stroke care and cardiovascular diseases, and a wide range of acute care services.
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