PREOPERATIVE CARE OF THE SURGICAL PATIENT
The patient who consents to have surgery, particularly surgery that requires a
general anesthetic, renders himself dependent on the knowledge, skill, and integrity of
the health care team. In accepting this trust, the health care team members have an
obligation to make the patient's welfare their first consideration during the surgical
experience. This lesson consists of your duties as a practical nurse to provide
preoperative care for the surgical patient.
Anesthesia. A partial or complete loss of sensation, with or without loss of
consciousness, as a result of a disease, an injury, or administration of a drug.
Cyanosis. A Greek word for the slightly bluish-gray or purple discoloration
of the skin due to a deficiency of oxygen and an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood.
(Oxygen in the blood makes it look red and gives the skin a pink tone.)
unconsciousness; used to allay pain. Narcotics are regulated by federal laws.
NPO. Nothing by mouth (Latin, nulli per os).
Perioperative Period. The period extending from the time of
hospitalization for surgery to the time of discharge (see Figure 1-1).
Preoperative Phase. That phase of the perioperative period during which
the nurse admits the patient to the surgical unit and helps the individual prepare
physically and emotionally for the operation. Refer to Figure 1-1.
Prosthesis. An artificial organ or part; for example, an artificial limb,
eyeglasses, or dentures.
Thrombophlebitis. Inflammation of a vein associated with thrombus
Thrombus. A blood clot.