Patients who have surgery are taken to a multi-surgical unit with a subspecialty in orthopedics.
Care is provided by a multidisciplinary team that consists of surgeons, nurses, case managers, licensed practical nurses, patient care assistants, nurse practitioners, social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, physical therapists, physician assistants, and occupational therapists.
When you arrive on the inpatient unit, you can expect the following to be a part of the general care of any post-surgical patient:
The methods used to control your pain will be determined by your surgeon. The surgeons and nurses will monitor the effectiveness of the pain medications administered to you; asking you to rate your pain on a scale from 1-10, as well as any side effects from the pain medication.
Prevention of Complications
Depending on the surgical procedure performed, a variety of methods will be used to prevent or decrease complications that may occur. You will be monitored by the multidisciplinary team and asked to report specific signs and symptoms.
You can expect your nursing staff to be continuously checking your vital and neurological signs, and your frequency of bowel movements. They will also be checking your incision site for redness, swelling, and drainage, and checking your abdomen for bowel sounds and bladder distention.
Early mobility is the key to a successful recovery. Most patients will be allowed to get out of bed the day after surgery. If the surgery is early in the day, you may get out of bed the same day. Your nurse or a therapist will help show you the correct technique for getting out of bed. It is important for you to begin walking (referred to as "ambulating") as soon as possible after surgery. Early ambulation promotes healing, allows your lungs to work better, improves circulation, and can help reduce the risk of serious complications like pneumonia and blood clots. Your surgeon will determine your level of activity and communicate the plan to you and the other team members.
You will also be visited once or twice a day starting on post-op day #1 by the therapy department. There will be occupational therapists visiting that will be focusing on getting you back to being independent, and physical therapists visiting to get you up and moving.
Members of the team will provide instruction regarding your procedure, plan of care, equipment, and your part in the recovery process. Family members and/or friends are welcome to participate in the teaching. Their participation will provide you with the support you will need after discharge.