Before Spine Surgery: Nurse Navigator Phone Call

Here at Nebraska Spine Hospital, we like to ensure that our patients are informed and prepared before coming in for their spine surgery. One of the ways we do that is with a pre-surgery phone call from one of our nurse navigators. These phone calls are scheduled in advance and generally last 45-60 minutes. We recommend that patients have a piece of paper available to take notes during this call. Below is some of the information you can expect to be covered in this phone call.

Please note: Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the following information may not be up-to-date. Please call us at (402) 572-3000 for the most updated information.

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General Health Information

To begin the phone call, your nurse navigator will go over basic health information with you. Below are a few of the items you can expect to be covered in this portion of the call.

  • Name(s) and phone number(s) of visitor(s) accompanying you
  • Allergies
  • Current medications (including dosage and time of day taken)
  • Medical history (including current conditions, past surgeries, etc.)
  • Alcohol and substance use
  • Advance healthcare directive (if available, please bring on the day of your surgery)

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Preparing For Spine Surgery

Next, your nurse navigator will cover a list of items to help prepare you for spine surgery. This includes tips on preparing your home for your return after surgery and instructions on the days leading up to your surgery.

  • Discuss your living situation for after your surgery (including questions about stairs in your home, toilet height, and your bathtub/shower setup)
  • Go over how to shower before your surgery
    • Take a normal shower the night before – use soap and shampoo/conditioner like usual – then end the shower by washing with Hibiclens soap for 5-10 minutes on your entire body (except hair, face, and private areas)
    • Dry off with a clean towel, sleep in clean pajamas, and make sure your sheets are clean
    • In the morning, do not shower as usual – only wash with Hibiclens soap for 5-10 minutes on your entire body (except hair, face, and private areas)
    • Dry off with a clean towel and put on clean clothes
    • Do not apply any lotions, creams, perfumes, deodorants, makeup, or nail polish
  • Discuss what to bring to the hospital and what to leave at home
    • Bring an extra set of comfortable clothes, your photo ID, insurance card, and toiletries for your stay (toothbrush, hair brush, etc)
    • Do not wear contacts or any jewelry (including wedding band) and don’t bring any money or credit cards
  • Go over eating and drinking restrictions
    • Do not eat any solid foods after midnight the night before your surgery (including mints, gum, and hard candies)
    • Do not drink any liquids in the four hours prior to your surgery

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What Happens the Day of Surgery

Your nurse navigator will give you a brief overview of what to expect on the day of your spine surgery. This will include a reminder to check in two hours before your surgery and what to expect in pre-op, including letting you know you will be asked to wipe down with antimicrobial wipes, have IVs started to keep you hydrated, and have the opportunity to speak with your anesthesiologist and surgeon.

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What Happens After Spine Surgery

Lastly, your nurse navigator will briefly discuss your hospital stay after surgery. They will discuss when your catheter will be inserted and removed, when you can expect to see your visitor(s), and when you will be up and moving around the hospital. 

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