Theanna Zika of Heavenly Helpers: Recuperating from Plastic Surgery

In 2004, Theanna Zika started a non-medical home care agency called Heavenly Helpers Senior Home Care. While much of their service involves assisting the elderly, Heavenly Helpers also offer services to other groups of people. One of these groups is those recuperating from plastic surgery. Recently, Theanna has designed a way to collaborate with plastic surgeons in caring for their patients post operatively. Ms. Zika feels this could be a very popular form of service as she continues to market the idea to plastic surgeons. She recently talked about the specifics of the program…

Interviewer: “Can you explain how you are currently working with plastic surgeons to make their patients have a more positive experience?”

Theanna Zika: “We feel we have come up with a unique and exciting way to collaborate with the plastic surgeons in our area to assist them in caring for their patients after surgery. When a surgeon offers a certain procedure, a facelift for example, that procedure will come with “X” amount of hours of assistance from a Heavenly Helpers Caregiver. Once the procedure is booked, the Dr.’s office will call us and let us know Jane Doe’s contact info and date of procedure. We handle it from there! We will follow up with a call to Jane introducing ourselves and setting up a time to go out and perform an Assessment. At the Assessment, we will discuss what services she will need from us as well as working out the days and times. “

Interviewer: “How do you decide on services and work out the hours of service?”

Theanna Zika: “The number of hours will have already been established by the surgeon. So let’s say Jane understands with her facelift she will be receiving 36 hours of care by Heavenly Helpers. At the Assessment, we will decide how to divide up the hours and clarify exactly what services she will need. A patient who has a spouse and family will have different needs then someone who lives alone. Does the client need to be taken or picked up from the surgery center? We can pick up medicine, ice packs, etc. and have that all ready at the house for when she comes home. We can change ice packs, prepare meals, assist with her dressing and bathing, etc. One of the favorite things the Caregiver can do is go run errands for the client so she does not have to go out into public until she feels she has healed sufficiently. Plastic surgery can be a private affair and can remain that way by using us! As for how to divide up the hours, we have clients who used three 12-hour days and for others it worked best to have 4-6 hours a day for several days. The beauty of it is that our service can be completely customized it to fit anybody’s situation!”

Interviewer: “So, the patient does not pay Heavenly Helpers directly?”

Theanna Zika: “No, the cost of our services have been incorporated into the surgeon’s fee at their discretion. So when the surgeon quotes the patient a fee for a procedure, that fee “includes” our services. The surgeon in turn, will pay us. Doing it that way just gives the patient the feel that they are getting the “deluxe” service. They are getting customized, personal service above and beyond the basic plastic surgery procedure that other patients may be getting. I liken it to how happy patients are when they get the “free” toothbrush at the end of the dental cleaning. They just somehow feel like they got something above what they paid for or expected.

Interviewer: “It is easy to see how the patient benefits from all this. But how does this benefit the surgeon? Why would a surgeon agree to collaborate with you on this?”

Theanna Zika: “Where do I start? There are so many positives for the surgeon! First of all, the obvious, which is that she/he stands out from other surgeons that are not offering this extra care. She/he is pulling out all the stops as far as offering that personalized pampered experience. Another huge advantage is that the patient will have an overall more positive surgical experience, which is good for the surgeon. I think as the data comes in, it will show that when cared for by a personal attendant, patients will have a faster healing time with less complications. If our Certified Nursing Assistant sees anything of concern, she/he can immediately call the office. She/he is trained to recognize signs or symptoms that are cause for concern. The patient will have less stress and can concentrate on resting and getting her strength back while we take care of the everyday household tasks. In essence we can be the “eyes and ears” of the Dr.’s office especially during those first 48-72 hours which are so critical! Last but not least, the surgeon can build our cost into his fee to whatever degree needed. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

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