Recovery doesn’t have an end date. It is a lifelong process that sober individuals learn to take one day at a time. Choosing the best surgical aftercare nursing staff is just as important as choosing the best surgeon.

The nurse’s role in immediate postoperative care :

From the time that a patient leaves the care of the anaesthetist after an operation until he wakes in the ward, his physiological state should be continuously and expertly supervised. Postoperative nurses are provided only when the operating theatre has a recovery room. A survey among consultants and nurses in one region showed that many surgical units did not have recovery rooms and that inexperienced ward nurses were often sent to collect patients. The survey showed that most nurses were competent to care for unconscious patients so long as an emergency did not arise. In many hospitals, the facilities for the safe nursing of postoperative patients were totally inadequate. The very least that is needed is good communications with the anaesthetist, adequate lighting, and a source of oxygen and suction. Because of the shortage of nurses likely to have to care for postanaesthetic patients early on and to train them accordingly. Nevertheless, recovery nurses, whose sole responsibility is to care for a patient until be has recovered from anaesthesia, should be appointed for all busy surgical units.

Postoperative Care

Postoperative care is the care you receive after a surgical procedure. The type of postoperative care you need depends on the type of surgery you have, as well as your health history. It often includes pain management and wound care.
Postoperative care begins immediately after surgery. It lasts for the duration of your hospital stay and may continue after you’ve been discharged. As part of your postoperative care, your healthcare provider should teach you about the potential side effects and complications of your procedure.
Before you have surgery, ask your doctor what the postoperative care will involve. This will give you time to prepare beforehand. Your doctor may revise some of their instructions after your surgery, based on how your surgery went and how well you’re recovering.

Prepare ahead of time

Ask as many questions as possible before your surgery, and ask for updated instructions before you’re discharged from the hospital. Many hospitals provide written discharge instructions.
Ask your doctor questions such as:

  • How long will I be expected to remain in the hospital?
  • Will I need any special supplies or medications when I go home?
  • Will I need a caregiver or physical therapist when I go home?
  • What side effects can I expect?
  • What complications should I watch out for?
  • What things should I do or avoid to support my recovery?
  • When can I resume normal activity?

The answers to these questions can help you prepare ahead of time. If you expect to need help from a caregiver, arrange for it before your surgery. It’s also important to learn how to prevent, recognize, and respond to possible complications.
Depending on the type of surgery you have, there are many potential complications that can arise. For example, many surgeries put patients at risk of infection, bleeding at the surgical site, and blood clots caused by inactivity. Prolonged inactivity can also cause you to lose some of your muscle strength and develop respiratory complications. Ask your doctor for more information about the potential complications of your specific procedure.

Postoperative care at home

It’s very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions after you leave the hospital. Take medications as prescribed, watch out for potential complications, and keep your follow-up appointments.
Don’t overdo things if you’ve been instructed to rest. On the other hand, don’t neglect physical activity if you’ve been given the go ahead to move around. Start to resume normal activities as soon as you safely can. Most of the time, it’s best to gradually return to your normal routine.
In some cases, you may not be able to care for yourself for a while after your surgery. You may need a caregiver to help tend your wounds, prepare food, keep you clean, and support you while you move around. If you don’t have a family member or friend who can help, ask your doctor to recommend a professional caregiving service.
Contact your doctor if you develop a fever, increased pain, or bleeding at the surgical site. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you have questions or aren’t recovering as well as expected.

The takeaway

Appropriate follow-up care can help reduce your risk of complications after surgery and support your recovery process. Ask your doctor for instructions before you have your surgery and check for updates before you leave the hospital. Contact your doctor if you suspect you’re experiencing complications or your recovery isn’t going well. With a little planning and proactive care, you can help make your recovery as smooth as possible.