Mouth care. All preoperative patients should have thorough mouth
care before surgery. A clean mouth makes the patient more comfortable and prevents
accidental aspiration of food particles. Chewing gum must be removed before the
patient goes to the operating room.
Attire. Give the patient a clean hospital gown. The wearing of his
own gown or pajamas to surgery is not permitted because of potential loss or damage.
Prostheses. Ask the patient to remove his dentures, contact lenses,
and artificial limbs. Be sure to place all items in a container labeled with the patient's
name and room number. Take extra care not to break or loose patient's prostheses. If
possible, send the prostheses home with a relative.
Jewelry. Jewelry should be removed for safekeeping. Do NOT store
in bedside stand -- give the jewelry to a relative. The patient may wear a wedding band
to surgery secured with tape or gauze wrapping. Do not secure it so tightly as to impair
Food and fluids. Follow the doctor's orders for type of diet
preoperatively. Usually, the patient will be NPO from midnight on. Remove the
patient's water pitcher. Place an NPO sign outside patient's room (see Figure 1-8).
Mark the diet roster.
Offer emotional support. Answer questions concerning surgery.
Provide explanation of each preoperative nursing measure. Ask the patient about
spiritual needs. Provide family members with information concerning their role the
morning of surgery, waiting room location, postoperative visit by surgeon, rational for
stay in recovery room, and presence of any special tubes or machines attached to their
Sedative. Administer the patient a sedative for a good night's sleep,
Communication. Good communication between all members of the health
care team will ensure that the patient is well prepared and ready to undergo surgery. All
shifts and nursing personnel must be an active participant in the preoperative phase of
the surgical patient.