A Day in a Life of a Surgical Nurse

The role of a nurse assigned in a surgical department involves a lot of things. When surgical procedures are done and the patient is stabilized, the operating room nurses may know transport the patient to a surgical department.

Nurses in the surgical department are very adept in terms of post operative complications that can either be early onset or late onset. On the average, the type of the surgical procedure done to the patient determines the length of the patient stay. Still in this area, aseptic technique is an important aspect for a nurse to preserve.

Activities of a surgical nurse may involve monitoring the vital signs of the patient as well as the level of consciousness. Since patients receive a certain dose of anesthesia, surgical nurses must be alert to know if the amount of anesthesia has worn off. Postoperative pain is also common among patients; surgical nurses must also assess the level of pain the patient may feel. Pain assessment may involve pain scale or adapt that scale to the level of understanding of patients as pain perception can be very subjective. Nurses have non-pharmacological interventions as well as pharmacological interventions being prepared when the pain is there. At present, surgical nurses are also aware to the principle of blocking the pain first before waiting for it to happen.

Surgical nurses may also encounter cases that have may alter the lifestyle of the patient. Amputation for instance may affect the patient in a lot of ways. Issues of self-esteem and view of the future are common thoughts of patient who undergone amputation or loss of function of a certain body part. With active listening and use of therapeutic communication, nurses can explore the feelings of the patients and help them to comply with the therapies and medication making them responsive to the medical treatment.

Surgical nurses are also responsible in patient education. Wound healing is very important in the surgical department, with the teaching skills of surgical nurses, patients and folks will be able to know the proper way to clean the post-operative wound aseptically.

The work in the surgical department may also involve working with the other department such as the Department of Rehabilitation. Surgical nurses are called to assist the patient as well as the folks to understand their current state after the prescribed procedure. Changes may also be apparent, so it is the role of the surgical nurses to let the patient and folks understand so that they can adjust in a faster way.

Change is always present in the work of a surgical nurse; it is for him or her to convey this change as a positive one for both patient and folks.

Image courtesy of tvscoop.tv

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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