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Pre/Post-Operative

Care
Standards:
TO: Today students should be able to name at least five
aspects needed in both Pre and Post Operation care.
Pre/Post- Operative care
Providing Care to patients scheduled for surgery may be one of your
responsibilities as a health care worker.
Surgical Care
Preoperative Care
Before Surgery
Operative Care
During Surgery
Postoperative Care
After Surgery

Pre Pre-Op
Every patient scheduled for surgery, no matter how minor; has fears
Disfigurement, pain, loss of control, death
Its important that you provide emotional support and physical care.
Answer all questions to the best of your ability
Specific questions that you can not answer needs to be directed to the physician or
superviser ASAP
Pre-Operative Care
Possible aspects of pre-operation
Operative permit: A form signed by the patient to give permission for the
anesthesia and surgery. Must be Witnessed by a legally authorized person.
Labortory Tests: Special tests ordered by physician. Blood tests, urine tests, x-
rays, ECGs.
Enemas or vaginal irrigations: Ordered for preperations for certain surgeries
Baths: To remove as many microorganisms as possible to prevent infection.
Vital Signs: These are taken and recorded to refer to during and after surgery.
Possible aspects of pre-operation
NPO: Nothing by mouth for 8 to 12 hours prior to surgery.
Valuables: All the patients belongings are placed in hospital safe to prevent
loss.
Remove Prosthetics: All artificial parts; contacts, hearing aids, dentures,
limbs.
Remove Cosmetics: Nail polish, make-up, hair products; they can create false
skin color changes.
Surgical Shave: Shaving and cleaning of the operative site.
Possible aspects of pre-operation
Clothing: None. Not even undergarments. Hospital gown place on top of
patient.
Name Band: Patients name and information must be checked prior to surgery.
Voiding: Bladder = EMPTY Patient should void directly before going to OR;
Catheter is inserted to keep bladder empty.
Surgical Checklist: All of the possible aspects of Pre-Operation are checked
off.
During Surgery
While patient is in surgery the post-op room is prepared.
Necessary equipment made available
Bed made
Emesis basin and tissues placed @ bedside
Special equipment; suction, drainage machines, O2
All extras remove from bedside; water pitcher and cup.
Postoperative Care
Possible aspects of postoperative
Vital Signs: Need to be taken frequently and as ordered. Any abnormal
readings can be crucial in the survival of the patient and must be reported
immediately.
Dressings: Need to be checked frequently; color, amount, and type of
drainage must be noted.
IV: Flow Rate, injection site must be checked by an authorized individual.
Level of Pain Scale from 1 to 10. Must be noted. Pain meds will be
distributed.
Possible aspects of post-operative
Observations: Restlessness, color, and temperature, nausea, and similar observations
should be noted and reported.
Position: Pts position must be changed when possible. Be sure you are aware of
movement restrictions. Obtain authorization before any movement.
Cough and deep breathe: Most patients need to be encouraged to cough and deep
breathe after general anesthesia. It helps to remove mucus from the lungs and
respiratory tract.
Tubes: Surgical Patients frequently have drainage tubes in place. While caring for these
patients you must observe abnormalities and clogs in tubes. Also when moving a
patient you must check the tubes and keep them from twisting and pulling.

Possible aspects of postoperative
Binders: special devices that are ordered to hold dressings in place and
support
Surgical (elastic)hose: ordered to support the veins of the legs and help
increase circulation. Prevents blood clots
Montgomery Straps: Special adhesive strips that are applied when dressings
must be changed frequently at the surgical site
Skin barrier: liquid or paste
Straps are applied to both sides of the surgical site
The centers are non adhesive and tie together
HAZARDS
It is essential that nurse assistants follow all standard precautions
whenever in contact with blood or body fluids. Decreases the spread of
infections.
Good operative care can mean a faster and less complicated recovery time of
the patient.