Post operative patient care and nursing interventions


  • Nursing priorities

The nursing interventions for pre and post-operative patient care should aim at promoting physical and psychological health of the patient, facilitating easy and speedy recovery, while preventing any complications, as well as, teaching the patients to take care of themselves, after they are discharged from the hospital. The post operative care would start even while the patient is undergoing the surgery, as nurses are required to prepare the bed, taking medical precautions like placing absorbent pads below the top linen for protecting bottom linens. The necessary equipment required for post operative care should be placed along side the bed. This would include a pole for hanging intravenous fluid containers, blood pressure apparatus, an emesis basin, as well as suction or oxygen equipment, particularly for taking care of any possible respiratory complications.

  • Post-operative patient care

Nursing interventions for actual post-operative patient care would begin with the transfer of the patient from recovery room; the nurses should implement the doctors postoperative care orders properly. These would include placing the patient on the bed, either in a side-lying position or lying flat for many hours, depending on the kind of surgery operated by the doctor. While taking notes on the symptoms and records that reflect change in the patient’s condition from recovery room, the nurses should observe any symptoms of complications, as well as, patient’s reaction to stimulants, after he or she returns to consciousness.


  • Required observations

The rate of flow of intravenous fluids should be properly assessed and fixed in the related apparatus. The assessment would also include checking the wounds regularly and properly, while inspecting the patient’s dressing for drainage and examining the color and amount of drainage. Nurses should immediately report to the concerned doctor, in case large amount of drainage or bright red bleeding is noticed. For the purpose of proper and safe drainage, nurses are required to check the drains and tubes, while examining the urinary catheter and gastro-intestinal suction. Nursing interventions would include ascertaining that the drainage bags are in place to allow for the proper suction. In case of any possible respiratory complications, the rate of oxygen flow should be set, strictly as per the doctor’s prescription. During the post-operative care, nurses should check the color of patient’s skin and feel the warmth of the body, while looking for any signs of paleness or cyanosis. To assess the comfort level of the patient, nurses are required keeping the data of pain-killer prescriptions ordered in the recovery room, while observing the patient’s symptoms like nausea, vomiting and pain, with identification of proper location, where the pain is acute. The family members of the patient should be allowed to visit only after the above assessment is complete and after ensuring that the patient is warm and comfortable, to the maximum possible extent.

Readers should also go through books on nursing fundamentals and post operative patient care to understand requirements of nursing interventions, while we will continue this information on these pages. Meanwhile viewers can look at other topics for gaining knowledge on varied issues.



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