That’s my standard introduction to patients having emergency surgery…
I try to keep it short and sweet with a light tone in my voice hinting of my authority and expertise. Questions are asked, pain is assessed and understanding is evaluated.
Do you understand we are going to strip you of your clothes, teeth, glasses, hearing aids, etc.?We are going to take you into a really cold room, tie you down, put you sleep, breathe for you, cut you open and afterwards you will wake up in terrible pain, but…we promise to wash our hands, use clean tools and have some idea of what we are doing?
It’s difficult for anyone to really understand because pain, fear and anxiety limits a person’s ability to respond to external stimuli so it’s really important for the caregiver to reduce environmental demand for those in pain. Nurses do this consistently by addressing the spoken and unspoken needs of the person in our care regardless of the context. We create a healing environment virtually anywhere person and nurse meet.