Interventions for Postoperative Clients Francisco Felix
PACU Recovery Room • Purpose is to provide ongoing evaluation and stabilization of clients to anticipate, prevent, and treat complications after surgery. • PACU is usually located close to the surgical suite. • The PACU nurse is skilled in the care of clients with multiple medical and surgical problems that can occur following a surgical procedure.
Collaborative Management • Assessment • Physical assessment and clinical manifestations • Assess respiration. • Examine surgical area for bleeding • Monitor vital signs. • Assess for readiness to discharge once criteria have been met.
Respiratory System • Airway assessment • Breath sounds • Other respiratory assessments
Cardiovascular Assessment • Vital signs • Cardiac monitoring • Peripheral vascular assessment
Neurologic System • Cerebral functioning • Motor and sensory assessment important after epidural or spinal anesthesia • Motor function: simple commands; client to move extremities • Return of sympathetic nervous system tone: gradually elevate head and monitor for hypotension
Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Balance • Check fluid and electrolyte balance. • Make hydration assessment. • Intravenous fluid intake should be recorded. • Assess acid-base balance.
Renal/Urinary System • The effects of drugs, anesthetic agents, or manipulation during surgery can cause urine retention. • Assess for bladder distention. • Consider other sources of output such as sweat, vomitus, or diarrhea stools. • Report a urine output of < 30 mL/hr.
Gastrointestinal System • Nausea and vomiting are common reactions after surgery. • Peristalsis may be delayed because of long anesthesia time, the amount of bowel handling during surgery, and opioid analgesic use. • Clients who have abdominal surgery often have decreased peristalsis for at least 24 hours.
Nasogastric Tube Drainage • Tube may be inserted during surgery to decompress and drain the stomach, to promote gastrointestinal rest, to allow the lower gastrointestinal tract to heal, to provide an enteral feeding route, to monitor any gastric bleeding, and to prevent intestinal obstruction. (Continued)
Nasogastric Tube Drainage(Continued) • Assess drained material every 8 hours. • Do not move or irrigate the tube after gastric surgery without an order from the surgeon.
Skin Assessment • Normal wound healing • Ineffective wound healing: can be seen most often between the 5th and 10th days after surgery • Dehiscence: a partial or complete separation of the outer wound layers, sometimes described as a “splitting open of the wound.” (Continued)
Skin Assessment(Continued) • Evisceration: a total separation of all wound layers and protrusion of internal organs through the open wound. • Dressings and drains, including casts and plastic bandages, must be assessed for bleeding or other drainage on admission to the PACU and hourly thereafter.
Discomfort/Pain Assessment • Client almost always has pain or discomfort after surgery. • Pain assessment is started by the postanesthesia care unit nurse. • Pain usually reaches its peak the second day after surgery, when the client is more awake, more active, and the anesthetic agents and drugs given during surgery have been excreted.
Impaired Gas Exchange Interventions include: • Airway maintenance • Positioning the client in a side-lying position or turning his or her head to the side to prevent aspiration • Encouraging breathing exercises • Encouraging mobilization as soon as possible to help remove secretions and promote lung expansion
Impaired Skin Integrity Interventions include: • Nursing assessment of the surgical area • Dressings: first dressing change usually performed by surgeon • Drains: provide an exit route for air, blood, and bile as well as help prevent deep infections and abscess formation during healing (Continued)
Impaired Skin Integrity(Continued) • Drug therapy including antibiotics and irrigations are used to treat wound infection. • Surgical management is required for wound opening.
Acute Pain Interventions include: • Drug therapy • Complementary and alternative therapies such as: • Positioning • Massage • Relaxation and diversion techniques
Potential for Hypoxemia Interventions include: • Maintenance of airway patency and breathing pattern • Prevention of hypothermia • Maintenance of oxygen therapy as prescribed
Health Teaching • Prevention of infection • Dressing care • Nutrition • Pain medication management • Progressive increase in activity level • Use of proper body mechanics