The Postoperative Recovery Process

Post operative hand off to recovery room refers to the follow-up care that a patient receives after undergoing a surgical procedure or after being in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This entails my patient-centered problem that I wish to expound in my project. Post operative care often entails wound care and pain management undertaken by the ICU nurses. It begins immediately after the surgery session and lasts until the patient has fully recovered. An ICU nurse is expected to undertake various duties to enhance postoperative recovery of the patient. These duties include, transferring the patients to the post-anasthesia care units (PACU), monitoring the patients, educating the patients and the family members on expected outcomes, addressing any arising complications among many others. Post operative hand off to recovery can get numerous parties impacted greatly such as the ICU nurses, the patients and their families (Aldrete, 2010). This process tends to get the nurses too much involved and hence requires them to have all their minds together concentrated on the work. This might really affect their self esteem in the way they have to dress the wounds of the patients and handle them with utmost care. The nurses therefore require intensive training and counseling so hat hey are able to handle the patients. Another party that this process might affect is the patient themselves who require pre and post counselling to educate them on the expected outcomes and how to handle them.

My proposal on addressing the problemIt is crystal clear that post hand off to recovery is an immense problem that if not controlled could result in adverse effects such as the death of the patient, infection of other diseases and many others. As a nurse and this being one of my fields of work, I would propose various ways which can be used to address the problem and if possible eliminate it completely. In order to enhance the recovery process, I can propose that all patients be educated thoroughly about the process of surgery, what to expect as the outcome and also how to cooperate with the nurses after the process before they undergo the surgery. This would reduce resistances by the patients during the care and therefore fasten the process of healing. Another suggestion would be to regularly check on the nurses in order to take them through the counselling process. This can ensure that they are always version with their roles during the postoperative recovery process and this can minimize adverse effects like complications.

There are ethical issues which are concerned with post operative recovery, which are put in place to ensure adherence by both the patients and the nurses and to determine what is right or wrong. The code of ethics governing this process requires that the nurses handle the patients with utmost care leaving behind personal issues. It is ethical for the nurses to dress appropriately and use courteous language to address the patients regardless of the resistance by the latter. The code of ethics also puts emphasis on the fact that it is crucial for the nurses to critically follow guidelines and all the policies on postoperative care (McGrath, 2012). They should also maintain patient safety and proficiency by often updating their knowledge and understanding. Another ethical behavior that ought to be observed comprises of recording all vital observations, signs and any assessments performed.

According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), there are various legal rules and regulations that govern the postoperative recovery process. These comprise of the rule of Autonomy which entails freedom to implement a plan or decision my nurses, respect for others and a complete understanding of the patient. Justice: this comprises of equitable, fair and appropriate treatment of all the patients under the recovery process. Fidelity: this ensures that the nurses remain faithful to the ANA code of ethics for nurses and to ethical principles while keeping promises and commitments in their work (McGrath, 2012). Veracity: entails telling the truth by either the nurses or the patients and has an added advantage of enhancing trust between the nurse and the patient. In the rules and regulations act also, there should exist the principle of accountability that encompasses the responsibility concept that is being answerable to oneself as well as to others for ones actions. The law also requires the nurses to do no harm either intentionally or unintentionally to their patients. Another requirement is that the nurses should act in the best interest of others that is to contribute to the well being of the patients by preventing or removing any harm that might be associated with the recovery process.

Why I chose the topic

The postoperative recovery process in most of our hospitals seems to be really forgotten and given no attention at all. I felt the need to deeply undertake a research on it since I felt that it ought to be treated with the seriousness it deserves. This is so because it is a section that could lead to deadly moments in hospitals if not accorded the best services. It is a process that could lead to death of patients even after maneuvering with the surgeries,it could result into wounds that might never heal among many other adverse effects. Therefore, postoperative recovery process ought to be accorded the utmost seriousness in order to enhance the healing process for the patients thereby preventing and eliminating after surgery effects (Parsons, 2001).


McGrath.B(2012): Postoperative recovery and discharge. New York: Springer Publishing Company Aldrete, J.(2010). A postanesthetic recovery score. New York: Harper Collins PressParsons, R. (2001). The ethics of professional practice. California: SAGE Press

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