Being an inpatient is just the beginning of a rehabilitation journey that continues even after patients are discharged. The length of time patients stay with us depends on the type of treatment they need. Within the first few days of their stay we work with them to plan their discharge, ensuring any community services they may need are in place when they return home.
The amputee program is an eight bed in-patient program located at Parkwood lnsitute of St. Joseph's Health Care London. We are a regional program serving Southwestern Ontario. The primary mandate of the program is to fit individuals who have lost a lower limb with an artificial limb (prosthesis) and to train and educate them in its use. (Individuals with upper limb amputations are normally managed on an out-patient basis.)
The majority of potential candidates for the program are first assessed through the outpatient amputee clinic. An appointment for the clinic is usually booked for the patient by their surgeon or family doctor, by way of a referral/consult. At the clinic the patient is assessed by the doctor, with other amputee team members present. These may include the physiotherapist, nurse clinician, occupational therapist, social worker and a representative from a private prosthetic firm the amputee program works with that make artificial limbs. At the amputee clinic, a decision is made as to whether or not the individual would be an appropriate candidate to receive an artificial leg. Their name is then put on the waiting list to be admitted to the inpatient program. Patients put on the waiting list are given information as what to expect when they are eventually admitted to the inpatient unit.
Those patients put on the waiting list will be telephoned by the nurse clinician to inform them when there is a bed available for them to be admitted to the program. A few days notice is normally given.