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Nerve Blocks Needed
Here’s what every surgical facility leader should expect from a regional anesthesia program.
Gregory Hickman, MD
Publish Date: August 16, 2022   |  Tags:   Anesthesia Pain Management Orthopedics
Hickman
­SOUND GUIDANCE Ultrasound has helped anesthesiologists increase their use of nerve blocks, which are instrumental in performing painful shoulder replacement surgery in outpatient settings.   |   Gregory Hickman

Injecting a nerve cluster with a local anesthetic can provide patients with days of pain relief following orthopedic, abdominal or spine surgery. Regional anesthesia means patients require fewer narcotics, so they feel better after their procedures and are discharged as quickly and as safely as possible, a key to success for any outpatient surgical facility.

That’s why it’s imperative for facilities to have high-performing regional anesthesia programs in place to get patients to the point where their postoperative pain is well-controlled while they’re recovering in their own home. Your anesthesia providers should have the mindset that they’re involved in managing and controlling the patient’s pain not just on the day of surgery, but for those critical three or four days post-op to get them over that initial surgical pain hump. 

For your regional anesthesia program to run efficiently, providers must first be trained in the standard and emerging nerve blocks that are generally service-line-specific (see “Regional Blocks Every Provider Should Know”). Of course, there are several other key components of top nerve block programs.

If your anesthesia providers are placing more than five or six blocks a day, you need a block nurse.
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