May 07, 2024

Nursing director experiences ‘family care’ as a knee surgery patient

Family is important to David Pinsky.

The father of eight children, Pinsky, 51, serves as the director of nursing operations at Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center. He is also the nursing director for the medical-surgical department on the fifth floor.

The idea of a career in nursing started years ago when his father had open-heart surgery. “As I watched the nurses interact with my father,” Pinsky recalled, “I was impressed by their care, all the little things they did, from start to finish. That’s when I decided to become a nurse and care for other’s health.”

Over the years, one thing has driven Pinsky's career as a nurse – the opportunity to affect the people around him. “Whether it is staff, patients or families, making an impact in their lives is important to me.”

In his position as director of nursing operations and overseeing the nursing on the medical/surgical floor, Pinsky is always on the move.

“I have a very mobile job. I’m never sitting in one place at one time, always walking around the hospital. That’s how I knew I needed to get my left knee fixed,” he said.

Chronic knee pain

Pinsky had started feeling severe pain in his knee and had difficulty walking, as his knee would sometimes buckle during a stride. The pain also kept him from spending more time outdoors with his children enjoying sports and other family activities.

“I have a history of chronic knee issues,” Pinsky said. “Several years ago, I had surgery to replace my right knee, so I was very familiar with the symptoms. Once again, my knee was swollen and in constant pain, so I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Thomas John, an orthopedic surgeon on staff here.”

At his appointment, Thomas John, MD, confirmed the diagnosis of osteoarthritis and scheduled Pinsky for a total knee replacement surgery.

Osteoarthritis, often called “bone-on-bone” arthritis, is a gradual wearing down of the cartilage in the knee joint.

During Pinsky’s surgery, Dr. John removed damaged cartilage and bone from the knee joint. He then attached metal implants to the ends of the femur (thigh) and tibia (calf) bones. A plastic spacer was inserted between the metal pieces to help the new joint move smoothly.

“Dr. John, along with the team of physician assistants and nurses (Bonnie, Trish and others) were very helpful in making me feel comfortable about what was going to happen,” said Pinsky.  “My family couldn’t be with me, but I still felt that my hospital family was taking good care of me. The nurses and therapists made sure I was getting up and walking the same day as my surgery. I was able to return home after just one night at the hospital.”

His ‘family care’ continued after Pinsky left the hospital and started his physical therapy program.

“The physical therapy team was amazing. They motivated me to mobilize (move my new knee) and follow up by doing my at-home exercises. They made sure that my care was organized and productive. Their encouragement was so positive – I’m in better shape now than I have been in a long time.”

Family time

Since Pinsky has fully recovered from his knee surgery, he is planning a trip to go camping with his boys in upstate New York this summer. He has also started running on his treadmill again and getting back into shape. “Staying healthy for my family is very important to me.”

Less than one month after surgery, Pinsky returned to work at Mountainside Medical Center and used his recent experiences to motivate the team to be the best they can.

“My patient experience on the receiving end of nursing was very helpful,” he said. “It reinforced in me that our patient care makes people feel that someone genuinely cares about their health. This certainly helped me heal better and get back to work sooner.  My team of surgeons, nurses, therapists, and everyone else that cared for me really made me feel like I was being cared for by my family.”

If you are experiencing pain and difficulties when walking, you may need an evaluation of your knee and hip joints. Call us at (888) 973-4674 to schedule an appointment.

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