Posted by Heart Hugger on Apr 25, 2019 10:02:58 AM
Heart surgery recovery is not something that happens overnight. It's a process--which means that there are many things your patients need to do (and some things they're not supposed to do). Since all of that information can get a little overwhelming, we've compiled a few quick tips to help your patients remember how to keep their recovery on track.
Safe and Comfortable Recovery
Heart surgery recovery requires much communication--and all the information you give to your patients is going to be crucial information. However, while it's important to explain all the details at first, it can sometimes be helpful to provide patients with "quick tips" later on--essentially, some well-organized and straightforward reminders to help them recall the rest of your instructions. (For example, you might provide a quick review on how to use a wound stability harness.)
Here are a few topics to help guide your discussion of heart surgery recovery!
Naturally, most patients are going to be pretty worried about the wound itself. Remind them to keep the wound clean and dry, tell them how long to wait before taking a bath or shower, and make sure they know what to look for--high fever, redness, unusual oozing, and too much breastbone discomfort.
Do's and Don'ts
Patients often need to be reminded of what they should and shouldn't be doing. Time-frame is especially important here--let them know when they can resume doing each task (like climbing stairs or driving). Being confident in this information can help patients feel more comfortable!
One of the most important things to remind patients is that it's normal not to have a huge appetite for a few weeks. If that persists, they should definitely let you know--but in the meantime, smaller, more frequent meals are a good solution.