After Surgery ؟

Pay attention to the health care you receive. If something does not seem right — such as the type of medication you are receiving — tell your doctor, nurse, or another healthcare professional.

  • Expect healthcare workers to introduce themselves to you. Look for their identification badges.
  • Notice whether your caregivers have washed their hands. Hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Help to avoid medication errors:
    • Make sure health care professionals confirm your identity by checking your wristband or asking your name before giving you any medications or treatments.
    • Know what time of day you usually get a medication. Tell your nurse or doctor if a regular medication is missed.
    • Be able to identify your pills before swallowing them. Your regular medications may have a different color or shape in the hospital.
    • Do not take pills from home. They may duplicate the medications you are getting in the hospital, or they may conflict with them. Tell your physician if you are not getting your regular pills.
  • Prevent falls.
    • Surgery and postoperative medicines can make even the best athlete feel weak and unsteady.
    • Some medicines and extra intravenous fluids may cause a need to empty your bladder frequently. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Do it early, before it is urgent. Allow time for busy staff to get there.
    • Serious falls occur when patients try to be independent and do not ask for help.
    • At night, many people need more help than they do during the day. To ensure your safety, turn on lights, wear glasses, and use non-skid shoes if getting out of bed.
    • Wheelchairs should be securely locked before getting in and out.
    • Hot water in a shower can lower your blood pressure and cause fainting.
  • Know your treatment plans.
    • Ask questions to make sure you understand the next steps in your treatment.
  • Encourage visitors to wash their hands before and after visits.
  • Discourage visits from friends and family members who are not feeling well. Children are frequent cold carriers.
  • If staff moves your bedside table or rolling stand, ask them to put it back before leaving. Otherwise your water, personal articles, phone, or even the call button may be out of reach.
  • Food servers should not just leave your tray, but should set it up to be reachable.
  • If equipment in your room starts to ding or buzz, do not be alarmed.  It is usually something simple like your IV indicating to the nurse that it is time for a refill.


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