Discharge can be a confusing time for patients and their family members. The after-effects of anesthesia cause some amnesia, and the information and directives about post-op care are given when family members might be more focused on getting their loved ones home. Creative methods of communication during this critical time improve comprehension of post-op care directives, so we created labels that describe and depict common side effects to anesthesia — scratchy throat, drowsiness and upset stomach — and affix the labels on plastic drinking mugs sent home with patients. We've found the text and pictures enhance the verbal education patients receive while recovering after surgery and have had a positive impact on their perceptions of the care they received.
Lynda Schoppe, MSN, RN, CNOR, CAPA, CNEcl
St. David's South Austin (Texas) Medical Center