Dee Siddens understands her patients. She teaches them what to expect when they come to the hospital for bariatric surgery, acts as their patient liaison while they recuperate after the procedure, and teaches them all the do’s and don’ts about diet, exercise and return doctor visits when they are discharged from the hospital. Siddens’ expertise comes from having bariatric surgery herself in 2003 and her knowledge as a certified bariatric nurse.
“Being able to relate to my patients is a very important part of my job,” says Siddens, certified bariatric nurse (CBN) and bariatric coordinator at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. “I see patients at a very scary, but exciting time in their lives. Since I know first-hand what they are going through, I can tell them how much they have to look forward to as they lose weight.”
Bariatric surgery can be a long-term weight control tool with established health benefits. Qualified individuals must have a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious comordities. Surgical options for weight loss include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System. Both may be performed laparascopically at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital, which was named a bariatric surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.
Siddens worked in various fields of nursing, including critical care, trauma and post-anesthesia care, before becoming a bariatric nurse nearly four years ago. Siddens earned the professional designation as a certified bariatric nurse after taking a rigorous test and working as a bariatric nurse for a minimum of two years prior to accreditation.
“I took the test for my own sense of personal achievement,” explains Siddens. “After losing 135 pounds and dealing with weight issues my entire life, I now can convey my sense of caring and commitment in my role as a bariatric nurse and not be so consumed about being overweight.”
Siddens’ dedication to her bariatric patients continues after they go home from the hospital. She calls patients six months and then annually after their surgery to see how they are doing and how much weight they have lost and kept off. She also leads a monthly support group at the hospital which is attended by current and former patients, as well as people who are considering the procedure.
“Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows it can feel like a losing battle,” adds Siddens. “I help patients win back their life by losing weight. Through my experience in the field I see where each patient starts before surgery and then where they end up, resulting in their amazing transformation. That is the most rewarding part of my job.”
For more information about weight loss surgery, attend a free seminar sponsored by Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. To register either call 1-800-681-2733 or go online www.CyFairHospital.com
. LAP-BAND® is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc.