4-6. General Nursing Implications of the Postoperative Patient
The length of time a patient needs to recuperate from a surgical experience depends on the patient's preoperative physical and mental preparation, the type and magnitude of the surgical procedure, and the multiple factors involved in the postoperative recuperative periods.
In helping the surgical patient to return to his maximal possible state of health, in addition to your specific duties, you must also perform the following.
a. Monitor the patient's vital signs as ordered.
b. Report the patient's elevated temperature and rapid/weak pulse immediately to the Charge Nurse. As mentioned before, this may be an indication to an infection.
c. Report the patient's lowered blood pressure and increased pulse to the Charge Nurse. This may be an indication to hypovolemic shock.
d. Administer analgesics to the patient as ordered.
e. Apply all nursing implications related to the patient receiving analgesics (narcotic or not).
f. Participate in nutrition therapy with the health team. You will be providing nutrition to the postoperative patient according to the patient's condition and doctor's order.
g. Apply all nursing implications related to diets -- serving, recording intake, and food tolerance.
h. Maintain and administer all IV fluids and IV sites per doctor's orders and infections control SOP.
i. Prepare the patient and family for discharge.
(1) Supply written instructions for:
(a) Wound care.
(b) Surgical/clinic appointment.
(c) Phone numbers of related clinics.
(2) Coordinate with team leader for CMS supplies needed for wound care and prescriptions for self administration.
(3) Document discharge in the Nursing Notes per ward SOP.