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The patient undergoing surgery is the center of attention and all activity is focused on him in the operating room for the repair, correction, or relief of a physical ailment. Even though the patient may appear to be in good health and in for a minor operative procedure, he still may experience both physical and psychological stress just as a patient in for a major, more detailed procedure. The patient may be drowsy from the preoperative medication, but is aware of the sights and sounds around him.

Reassurance is given not only verbally, but also by facial expression, manner, and a touch or warm grasp of the hand. It is important that events be explained as they happen. There is no operative procedure, even the most simple, that is without risk. The patient should never be left alone while waiting for the surgical procedure to begin. This lesson will include events, people, and procedures that may occur during the operative phase.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015