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Nurses Prepare Patients For Surgery
Prior to surgery, nurses play a crucial role in gathering information and performing the necessary steps to prepare the patient. A higher nurse to patient ratio allows adequate time for a thorough physical assessment. A detailed medical history is also important to ensure the patient is physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for surgery.
Post-operatively, nurses monitor patients closely. Specific training in heart monitoring, as well as rescue protocols, are generally required for nurses in post-operative care. Higher nurse to patient ratios in this area of surgical care have a significant impact on improved outcomes.
Nurses are the eyes and ears of physicians
As patients begin to awaken from anesthesia, the recovery room nurse must closely monitor cardiac and respiratory status. Quick action must be taken if unexpected changes occur. The nurse will also ensure the effects of anesthesia are wearing off and the patient is waking up. Monitoring the surgical site is also important. If anything is not presenting exactly as anticipated the nurse must take appropriate actions and notify the physician immediately.
Studies have shown that higher nurse to patient ratios result in decreased medical errors. Medication errors occur more frequently in settings with more patients per nurse. Complications such as the development of pneumonia or urinary tract infections also occur less often with higher nurse to patient ratios. These complications may not appear while the patient is at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) but positive post-surgical care sets patients on the right path to recovery.
Nurses in ambulatory surgery centers
Higher nurse to patient ratios allow ASCs to provide more positive outcomes for surgical patients. ASC nurses often have improved communication and teamwork as well. With cross-training, ASC nurses can follow a patient from pre-op to the recovery room, which provides continuity of care. Higher nurse to patient ratios and cross-training promotes positive outcomes through reduced handoffs and avoiding miscommunication.
Preparing the patient to go home
When patients are ready to be discharged home, nurses are once again called upon to play a key role. When the patient meets minimum requirements for discharge the nurse will provide education regarding home care. Information on signs and symptoms to monitor and when to seek further medical care will be covered. With fewer patients, the nurse can ensure the patient and family are properly educated and comfortable with home care. Being fully informed regarding home care leads to a positive outcome. Speak with a healthcare provider to learn more about surgery recovery and outcomes.