Post Operative Nursing

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A surgical nurse is responsible for monitoring and ensuring quality healthcare for a patient following surgery. Assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention, and outcome evaluation are inherent in the post operative nurse’s role with the aim of a successful recovery for the patient. The appropriate provision of care is integral for prevention of complications that can arise from the anaesthesia or the surgical procedure. Whilst complications are common at least half of all complications are preventable (Haynes et al., 2009). The foundations of Mrs Hilton’s nursing plan are to ensure that any post surgery complications are circumvented. My role as Mrs Hilton’s surgical nurse will involve coupling my knowledge and the professional…show more content…
Is Mrs Hilton breathing too fast or too slow, does her skin colour show signs of insufficient oxygen circulation, is she confused and showing signs of distress, is there any blood or signs of infection in her sputum?

A systematic review undertaken by Smetana (2009) identifies postoperative respiratory failure as an example of cascade iatrogenesis i.e. serial development of multiple medical complications that can be set in motion by a seemingly innocuous first event. In this case, Mrs Hilton’s open cholecystectomy is that first event. Smetana (2009) points out that: when an older patient with postoperative pain is over-sedated, a decline in respiratory function occurs, that if not recognized, can result in respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation, that again, if not managed properly can culminate in ventilator-associated pneumonia and even sepsis and death (p.1529). After her upper abdominal surgery Mrs Hilton may have difficulty with deep breathing and coughing due to pain however both are essential interventions for prevention and treatment of respiratory infections and complications. Brown et al. (2008) recommend that when Mrs Hilton is awake, turning, coughing and deep breathing should be encouraged every one to two hours as this aids in the removal of secretions and prevents mucous plugs. They also encourage mobility when possible to increase respiratory excursion. Moreover, as Mrs Hilton
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