Orthopedics/Medical-Surgical Unit

O'Neill 3, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital's newest unit, is a 32-bed orthopedic/medical-surgical unit located on the third floor of the O'Neill Building. Our patients receiving knee and hip replacements participate inJointExperience, a comprehensive patient care program tailored to the needs of each joint replacement patient. The unit also provides care for general surgical, orthopedic and medical patients. Our staff consists of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants and patient service associates. We are a part of a multidisciplinary team of physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, case managers, social workers and a pharmacist, who work together to plan and guide our patients to a successful recovery.

JointExperience offers myriad challenging opportunities. Our multi-disciplinary team is well versed on the needs of our hip-/knee-replacement patient population, which is reflected in our program format. Our goal is to assist patients and their families to achieve the highest level of physical and emotional health possible. We focus on quality care and patient/family satisfaction. In fact, we are in the top 7 percent in the nation for patient satisfaction, according to Press Ganey, the health care industry's standard for measuring patient satisfaction.

Meet the Orthopedic Patient Care Manager


Alan Pentz, BSN, MSA

Q: What is your educational background/experience?
A: I joined MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in 2006 as patient care manager. I had worked here as a unit manager from 1988 to 1993. I obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing from the College of Notre Dame, and a master of science in health service administration from Central Michigan University. I have held various positions in the nursing field, including clinical manager of med/surg units and long-term care, and coordinator for a tuberculosis outreach program. Before coming to MedStar Good Sam, I was nursing director for the emergency department, obstetrics unit, nursing staff pool, and IV therapy at a local Maryland hospital.

Q: What is the care philosophy of your unit?
A: To provide patient care that is supportive and enables patients to meet their recovery goals.

Q: What types of patients do you care for on your unit?
A: Joint replacement - knee and hip. Surgical - back, thorax and orthopedic. Medical patients with various illnesses.

Q: What type of clinical ladders/professional growth opportunities do you offer?
A: Besides the hospital clinical ladder program, we offer support for NAON certification.

Q: What is your nurse/patient ratio?
A: 1:6

Q: What is your skill mix?
A: RNs, LPNs, PSAs, PCAs

Q: What sort of credentials/certifications do your nurses have?
A: Orthopedic Nurse Certified (ONC)

Q: What kind of support staff do you have?
A: We have a physician assistant, and all services offered by the hospital.

Q: Does your staff participate on nursing shared-governance councils?
A: Yes.

Q: What unit-based shared governance councils do you have?
A: Right now, we have a Coordination Council, and we also plan to rebuild the Education Council and PI council.

Q: What is the best part of working on your unit?
A: We practice very positive teamwork among all staff members.

Q: What staff/unit awards/recognition has your unit received?
A: We have consistently maintained patient satisfaction scores between 98% and 99%.