TCU Helps Patients Get Ready to Go Home

Three of the transitional care staff on steps in the physical therapy room. From left, Physical Therapist Tiffany Sutton, RN Miranda Dickson and Nurse Manager Lacey Johnson. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Three of the transitional care staff on steps in the physical therapy room. From left, Physical Therapist Tiffany Sutton, RN Miranda Dickson and Nurse Manager Lacey Johnson. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Hospital patients often want to go home as soon as possible, but they aren't always ready.

Several years ago, Sheridan Memorial Hospital introduced a transitional care unit, a place where patients can spend extra time in rehabilitation and recovery.

Lacey Johnson, who's Memorial's nurse manager of med/surge and TCU, said the hospital starts considering a patient's needs before that individual is ready to be discharged.

She said the minimum stay in transitional care is five days, and some patients may be in TCU for up to 30 or even 60 days. The TCU is a physical unit of the hospital, set up on the southwest side of the med/surge unit.

Johnson said many of the nurses who work in the TCU come from long-term care facilities, and they understand and work closely with therapists as well as with the patient and other family members.

She said the entire team of medical providers for a patient meet with the patient and family in care conferences.

Johnson said she thinks the TCU has been in operation for about eight years, but she wasn't sure of the exact time. She said the unit averages six to seven patients a day, but sometimes the number falls to only two or three while at others, there are nine or 10 on the unit.

She said the whole family is involved in the patient's care, and though the unit initially served only patients of Sheridan Memorial, in recent years the facility has opened up to provide transitional care for people who live in Sheridan but who've been patients at hospitals in other communities such as Billings. She said that allows them to be close to their families while they still might not be ready to go home.

View more photos below.

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Banner over the doorway identifies the unit. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Banner over the doorway identifies the unit. (Photo by Pat Blair)
The TCU dining room and kitchenette. (Photo by Pat Blair)
The TCU dining room and kitchenette. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Johnson points out the unit's laundry facilities. (Photo by Pat Blair)
One of the patient rooms. (Photo by Pat Blair)
One of the patient rooms. (Photo by Pat Blair)
SheridanWyoming.com

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