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Spine Academy Orientation

The Spine Academy Orientation assists the hospital staff in assessing and meeting pre- and postoperative needs for your spine surgery. We ask that you attend this meeting with a family member or friend who will act as your “coach” during your hospitalization. The role of a postoperative coach is important to your recovery. Your coach needs to be someone (or even more than one person) who will assist you with your exercises and mobility in the hospital and be available to help with your transition home. He/she will work closely with the nursing staff, physical therapist and occupational therapist to understand what is needed to assure a good outcome.

While in the hospital, your coach will assist you with dressing and exercises. He/she will also learn to assist you in administering the anticoagulation medications you will take, help you correctly apply your compression stockings, use an incentive spirometer, change your dressings and understand the physical precautions and problems to look for postoperatively.

The role of a coach is a large commitment. If your coach is unable to stay the entire day, we ask that he/she arrive no later than 1 p.m. in order to be present for the afternoon therapy sessions and education programs. When you and your coach arrive for the spine surgery orientation, you will register for surgery in the hospital admission area, located to the right of the lobby.

Orientation Details
What to Bring to Orientation
Preparing for Spine Surgery
Helpful Links
Contact Us


Schedule your orientation meeting:
When you schedule your surgery, you will need to schedule your orientation meeting.  Meetings are held on Wednesday afternoons and should be one to two weeks prior to your date of surgery and after you have seen your primary care physician. **Please call 410-884-4545 to schedule this appointment.** We encourage you to bring a family member or friend who will serve as your “coach” to the orientation meeting.

Three weeks prior to surgery:
You will need to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for your preoperative physical exam, and lab work. If you are currently seeing any medical specialists (e.g., cardiologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist), check with your primary care physician to see if you need medical clearance from them prior to surgery.

The weekend before your orientation meeting:
Please expect a call from one of our nurses. She will ask you questions concerning your health history.

Please have your physicians fax your information to the Documentation Central - 410-884-4842.

Orientation Details

The entire class takes approximately two hours. During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

Spine Academy Orientation


  • Pre-register for your surgery in the hospital admission area located in the hospital’s main lobby. 
  • Talk with one of our anesthesiologists to discuss options for anesthesia and postoperative pain management. They will also review the information sent to us by your primary care physician.
  • Visit the 2 South Nursing Unit.
  • Meet with the physical therapist, who will determine your preoperative needs and review your postoperative rehabilitation schedule.
  • Meet with our case manager, who will discuss your stay in the hospital and your discharge planning options. 
  • Meet with one of our nurse managers to discuss your post-operative care.

We believe that our preadmission program is a great way for our health care team to prepare you and your family for your upcoming surgery and recovery. 
Please call the Spine Academy Coordinator with any questions prior to your admission at 410-720-8000.

What to Bring to Orientation

Please bring the following items with you:

  • Insurance card
  • Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Name, social security number and birth date of insured
  • Referral forms from your physician (if required)
  • Worker’s compensation information (if applicable)
  • Driver’s license
  • A complete list of all medications, including over-the-counter medications, herbals and vitamins with dosages. Please bring your prescription medication bottles with you to this appointment.

Preparing for Spine Surgery

  • Contact your insurance company to find out about preauthorization, co-payments and your coverage, should you need to stay in a rehabilitation center after surgery.
  • Prepare your home. Stairs may be difficult initially. Arrange to stay on the first level for one to two weeks. Remove all throw rugs and cords that you might trip over.
  • You should not have major dental work within one month prior to surgery. If dental care is necessary, contact your orthopedic surgeon for instructions.
  • If you smoke, cut down or quit. Smoking can delay healing and slow recovery.
  • Educate yourself about anesthesia options, risks, and side effects.

Helpful Websites (an independent site not supported by drug or spine companies)

Contact Us

Email the Spine Academy

General Information

Admitting Office

OR Admitting

Spine Academy Coordinator

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