RECOVERY ROOM CARE OF THE SURGICAL PATIENT
Section I. INTRODUCTION
The recovery room, which is generally located near the operating room, has
accommodations for a group of surgical patients who are under the continuous
surveillance of highly skilled personnel. These patients are taken to the recovery room
after surgery. There, the nurses check on the patient's condition continuously. The
majority of the recovery room nurse's time is spent at the bedside rendering direct
patient care. The observation of a patient cannot be completed from any other location.
When the patient has fully recovered from the anesthesia and there is no evidence of
complications, he is prepared to return to the nursing unit. This lesson will include the
knowledge and skills required by the practical nurse to care for a surgical patient in the
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Airway. A passageway through which air normally circulates. A device
that is inserted through the patient's mouth to maintain the patency of an air passage
such as the trachea.
Anoxia. A reduction in, or lack of, oxygen.
Coma. A state of being unconscious or unresponsive to stimuli.
Conscious. A state of being awake, responsive, and alert.
Disoriented. A state of being confused; lack of response or inappropriate
response to stimuli.
Dyspnea. Difficult and labored breathing in which the patient has a
persistent unsatisfied need for air and feels distressed.
Embolism. The obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign substance due
to an air bubble, fat globule, or purulent matter of blood clot.
Embolus. An embolism floating in the blood stream.
Hypoventilation. A state in which there is a decreased or reduced volume
of air taken into the lungs.