Surgical Nursing Care

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Surgical Nursing Care
Impeccable nursing care is an essential contribution to the successful outcome of a patient scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure. An efficient preoperative nursing assessment includes that of the patient’s state of mind. Most patients are understandably nervous or anxious prior to surgery, however, significantly high levels of anxiety may have a negative effect on the surgical procedure and/or expected outcomes. “Preoperative anxiety may be an anticipatory response to an experience viewed by the patient as a threat to his or her customary role in life, permanent incapacity, body integrity, increased responsibilities or burden on family members, or life itself” (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, Cheever, 2010, p.433). Because preoperative anxiety can have such an impact on the scheduled procedure, proper nursing intervention is imperative. The nurse should be empathetic with the patient and encourage him or her to voice any questions or concerns they may have about the procedure or expected outcomes. It may be necessary to repeat instructions or clarify more than once because of the patient’s difficulty focusing on what’s being said due to elevated anxiety levels. There are several techniques the nurse may utilize in an attempt to alleviate preoperative anxiety. If the nurse should choose to utilize imagery, he or she would have the patient picture and focus on peaceful scenery. Patients without much of an imagination may need assistance creating such a scene in their head as well as staying in that “happy place”, for those patients the nurse should use guided imagery where he or she will remain close by and guide the patient through his or her imaginary paradise. Optimistic self-recitation is another technique that may be used and I’m convinced that the best example of such is The Little Engine That Could. This technique attempts to increase “positive energy” in the patient and provide them with a more optimistic outlook on the...
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