Observe and document the recovery room patient's level of consciousness.
Specific criteria are usually used in the recovery room for
categorizing the recovering patient as follows:
Alert -- The patient will be able to give appropriate response to
Drowsy -- The patient is half asleep and sluggish.
Stupor -- The patient is lethargic and unresponsive, unaware of
Comatose -- The patient is unconscious and unresponsive to
Engage the patient in a conversation, if possible, to observe his level
Take into consideration each patient's baseline (normal) responses due to
various physical factors.
Inability to understand speech/speaks a foreign language.
Previous physical weaknesses.
Provide emotional support to the patient and family.
When the patient is alert, tell him about his whereabouts and that
you are nearby and will help him as needed.
Teach the patient using brief, simple sentences about the tasks you
will be doing.
Encourage conversation with the patient. This will decrease anxiety
and increase his lung expansion.
Reinforce information from the surgeon.
Stay with the family members if they are permitted in the recovery
room. Remember, they may be frightened of the environment and the way their loved