Finally! At least we hope that your bariatric surgeries are on the move again. We are pleased to hear reports of bariatric programs resuming surgery schedules and providing once again, access to this important intervention to those who have been waiting.
With new protocols, added tasks and an anxious weight list, you may find that there is more expected of you than ever before. Here are a few ideas that may help.
- Engage the help of successful veteran patients to provide peer support for new patients. If you ask, you will likely find many who are willing to volunteer and even manage and maintain your buddy groups. They are also potential administrators for your social media accounts. And yes, they will need to know when and how to refer questions to medical professionals and only speak to their own experience. But once organized, these grateful and willing volunteers will expand your outreach and enhance your patient’s experience. The Dangers and Benefits of Using Patients in your Program.
- If you have not already done so, consider recording your informational session and make it available online. Easily done by recording a live session on Facebook, Google or YouTube, or consider offering even more educational modules on an elearning platform such as Thinkific.com. See Bariatric eLearning. Offer a test or quiz to ensure patient understanding of the materials. Providing 24 /7 access to these essential, but general basics, will free up your time for one on one appointments to answer questions and discuss individual needs and expectations prior to surgery.
- For those of you requiring pre op attendance in a support group consider, referring your patients to one of BSCI’s online or telephonic groups. Facilitated by BSCI’s experienced and skilled bariatric educators, these groups provide insight, connection and encouragement. Participants can request a letter of attendance for their file.