HEALDTON, Okla. – After more than two years limping on her left side due to undiagnosable pain, Jakie Hearn got a definitive diagnosis on Nov. 23 after she stepped off a family member’s front porch and heard two loud pops in her hip.
She immediately went to Mercy Hospital Ardmore, where they performed surgery the next day. During surgery, they determined she had fractured her hip in two places. She was transferred a week later to the skilled care unit at Mercy Hospital Healdton to begin her long recovery.
Since Dec. 1, Hearn has made Mercy Hospital Healdton her home away from home. The Ardmore resident opted to go to the hospital in Healdton to be near her daughter who lives in town and can more easily visit, do her laundry and bring items that she needs or wants, like her favorite sweet tea drink from Sonic.
The healing process for Hearn has taken longer than anticipated. She has worked hard each day with physical therapists and occupational therapists and was finally allowed to put her left foot flat on the floor with the assistance of a walker on Feb. 14. She hopes to go home in early March.
In spite of her three-month stay at Mercy Hospital Healdton, Hearn remains positive and light-hearted.
“I keep telling them that I have stock in the hospital,” she said, jokingly. “It’s about the mindset. You have to concentrate on getting well so you can get back to your life.”
Hearn is looking forward to sleeping in her own bed, relaxing in her recliner, getting back to her part-time job and enjoying her favorite hobby: shopping.
About Skilled Care
The skilled care program provides additional care or pain management for a patient, like Hearn, after a hospital discharge. The program provides a step-down service — or transitional care — after a patient stays at the hospital for three or more days but before returning home.
Through the program, Mercy’s hospital team delivers a variety of services focused on the patient’s recovery so he or she can quickly return home.
Skilled care services include physical, occupational and speech therapies; cardiac monitoring; intravenous (IV) medication administration; daily injections; feeding tube adjustments; respiratory treatments; complex wound care; nutritional counseling; 24-hour nursing care (if medically necessary); and patient and family education for new conditions, such as diabetes or colostomy care.
In addition to the medical services provided, an activities coordinator will also meet with patients to play games, work on puzzles, listen to music, take them on wheelchair rides or simply talk to them. This helps reduce stress and pass the time during their recovery.
“What is so helpful about the skilled care program is that patients have access to all the services and medical providers they need under one roof so they can concentrate on healing,” said Sharon Smith, case manager at Mercy Hospital Healdton. “The program helps patients develop achievable goals so they can get stronger and go home.”
How to Get Started
Patients must meet certain Medicare or insurance plan requirements to qualify for skilled care at Mercy. Medicaid does not cover skilled care services. A referral by a provider or a case manager is required.
If you or someone you know is considering skilled care after a hospital stay, ask your provider or case manager about Mercy’s skilled care program requirements and whether there is a location close to your home or to a loved one. In Oklahoma, Mercy offers skilled care services in Guthrie, Healdton, Kingfisher, Tishomingo and Watonga.
Hearn says she is thankful for the skilled care program and the staff at Mercy Hospital Healdton.
“I’m not going to say that it wasn’t painful at first, but they are just good here and they care so much,” she said. “I hope I never have to come back, but if I needed to, I would come here again.”
To learn more about Mercy’s skilled care program, contact Sharon Smith, case manager, at Mercy Hospital Healdton at 580-229-0701, ext. 1013.
Mercy is the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 34 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, three rehab hospitals and two orthopedic hospitals, nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.