Home Health Don’t Recover From Surgery Alone

Don’t Recover From Surgery Alone

Young smiling doctor is consulting a modern senior woman - patient, on the visit at home

Post-Surgery Care Of Atlanta, LLC helps patients through the healing process.

By Cory Sekine-Pettite

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 17 million Americans undergo some type of surgery every year — from routine tonsillectomies to elective procedures to emergency operations. Some surveys suggest the number may be closer 50 million. Another disputed statistic in academic and medical communities is the estimated number of procedures requiring anesthesia that each of us likely is to endure over our lifetimes. You could end up undergoing nine or more such operations in your life, which could include simple dental procedures like a tooth extraction to more complicated surgeries like a knee replacement. Regardless, you’re going “under the knife” at some point — if you haven’t already — and you’re going to need post-op care and/or rehabilitation. If you’re lucky, you have family who can take care of you while you recover at home — people who can see that you are eating properly and taking your medicine, et cetera. If you live alone and don’t have relatives nearby, you should consider seeking out professional assistance once you leave the hospital. This is where Post-Surgery Care Of Atlanta, LLC can come to your rescue.

Founded by Jillian Simpson, CNA, CRNA, CHPNA, CMA-AAMA in 2018, Post-Surgery Care Of Atlanta is a home healthcare service that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Yes, Simpson cares deeply for her patients, so she makes herself available to them at all hours. Many times, patients are exclusively focusing on the choosing the best surgeon for their surgery, Simpson says. However, they forget to also focus on choosing the best aftercare for surgery. To reach optimal results, patients need a high-quality and highly competent home care provider who understands the significance of optimal healing. Post-Surgery Care Of Atlanta is patient-centered and service-focused. Simpson works closely with each patient’s post-op hospital care team and their surgery centers.

What is it about home healthcare that she loves so much? It’s being in an intimate space with her patients, focusing in on that one person to build a relationship and to build trust, she says. In a hospital setting, you only get a few minutes with each patient before having to move on to help care for others; it can feel like you’re on a conveyor belt, Simpson said. For her, a hospital care situation would always be more of a chore than a joyful career. “There’s always fear of liability that I’m going to harm someone [in a fast-paced setting]. And who wants to be feeling that way — that every day I have to hold my breath?”

Conversely, she said, working in home healthcare is more effortless for her. She has more control over how she conducts business and how she handles herself and her patients’ care. “At Post-Surgery Care of Atlanta, we focus on the whole person — the mind, the body, the spirit of the person,” Simpson said. “Really getting them to a place of understanding the emotional part of [themselves] is so vital. The mental aspect is so vital in bringing forth the full recovery that you want from your surgery.”

Jillian Simpson
Jillian Simpson

Simpson didn’t just stumble upon her chosen profession and start a business. Even as a teenager, she knew she wanted to work in healthcare (originally as a forensic pathologist). So, in 2003, she started on that path, but put her aspirations on hold in 2007 to begin raising her daughter. She graduated from Chattahoochee Technical College in 2009 with a medical assistant degree and immediately went to work for an urgent care facility in Paulding County. Working 14-hour days, five days per week took its toll, so it wasn’t long before she shifted to Wellstar in 2011 and then to a smaller physician’s group in Marietta — always with a focus on providing the best possible attention and care to her patients.

To become even more helpful and involved directly with patient care, Simpson decided in 2015 that becoming a certified nurse assistant (CNA) was the right move for her. Upon getting certified, she went to work for Visiting Angels Home Care in Paulding County and fell in love with the job. “I was like, ‘this is it! It fits like a glove,’” she recalled. “That’s where I started really getting to know Jillian, who Jillian is and what’s really my purpose, or I would say the beginning stages of my purpose.” Simpson would work in that home care facility for two years before deciding to launch her own business.

She has been helping the sick and the wounded for nearly 12 years now and finds each new day more rewarding than the last. Simpson, who also now holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health, finds her patients through a variety of avenues from physician referrals to client referrals and social media marketing. In a typical month, she takes care of up to seven post-surgery patients in their homes. Depending on the patient and their procedure, she may stay with someone overnight on their first day home. However, her visits usually only last a short time. She will check a patient’s vitals, change bandages (and look for signs of infection), answer questions, et cetera. Simpson even drives some patients to and from appointments and picks up their prescriptions.

Perhaps just as important, she will converse with her patients. “It’s really just being by their side and just being their emotional and mental guide to this type of healing,” she said. Simpson’s patients typically are single — often widowed or divorced — and almost always women. Though she is starting to see male patients now. It’s all about who the patients are comfortable dealing with. No matter who it is though, Simpson says that the so-called “surgery blues” are real. So, in addition to addressing people’s physical wounds, she is glad to be there for their emotional health as well. “When they first come home and they’re all bandaged up and drained, it definitely can cause a lot of psychological distress, … and I’m just there to listen.” Wisely, Simpson knows when to suggest professional counseling to further help those who find recovery particularly stressful.

According to healthline.com, depression is a complication that can happen after any type of surgery. It’s a serious condition that needs attention so that you can find the treatments that can help you cope. Certain surgeries may carry a higher risk of postoperative depression, but it can appear after any surgery. Healthline reports that factors that can contribute include:

  •  having depression before surgery
  •  chronic pain
  •  reactions to anesthesia
  •  reactions to pain medications
  •  facing one’s own mortality
  •  the physical and emotional stress of surgery
  •  concerns about your speed of recovery
  •  anxiety over possible complications
  •  feelings of guilt about depending on others
  •  concerns that the surgery may not be enough
  •  stress related to recovery, the return home, financial costs, and so on

One thing is for certain: It’s beneficial to have a healthcare professional by your side post-surgery who can spot the warning signs and find you the help you need. Simpson and Post-Surgery Care of Atlanta can help your mind, body, and spirit.

Charlie’s Angels Movers Presents Airaoke
A Karaoke Contest to Benefit the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 in a special way, Charlie’s Angels Movers is sponsoring a karaoke contest with proceeds benefitting the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund.

The event will be held at the Cobb International Airport in the Atlanta Air Charter hanger on Sept. 11, 2021. The stage will be set around the nose of an airplane, with beautiful Kennesaw mountain in the background.

This event is open to the public. All singers will need to register in advance. Ten singers will be called per hour, picked randomly. In the 9 o’clock hour, the four singers with the most votes — based on a combination of fan voting via text and five designated judges — will be called back for a final judging. The winner with the most moving performance will walk off with $1,000 and a silver platter (valued at $500) provided by the Jewelsmith of the Avenues of West Cobb.

In addition, there will be a silent auction, door prizes, food and beverages, and additional entertainment throughout the evening. Tickets are $10 for both singers and attendees and available at Airaoke.org, or by texting “Ticket” to 920.247.2653.

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