Are You a Good Patient After a Surgery?

Your daughter makes recovery from surgery look like a walk in the park. After having her left hip labrum repaired and a small part of her bone shaved off, she has followed the doctor’s orders exactly. Although she ran three and half miles the day before surgery she has been patiently working through the post operation directions. She waited the full 72 hours before showering after the procedure. It is now two and half weeks post op and she is still only putting the equivalent of 25 pounds weight on the hip, and is using her crutches as directed. When the doctor explained that she should go though the walking motion at the appointment three days after surgery she immediately made the transition.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons the your 21 year old daughter is such a good patient is that she is well practiced. After two different surgeries for three fingers with trigger release problems, she has had another four surgeries in the last six years: twice on her right ankle, once on her left shoulder, and now on her left hip. These last four injuries have all been a direct result of her 18 years of competitive gymnastics. As a result, the previous ankle and hip surgeries have had her rehabbing back into the gym, which was really motivation to follow the doctor’s orders. this time, however, she is rehabbing for herself and has a goal to be back to full mobility in another three weeks when she starts an accelerated nursing degree program.

From Wound infection to Back Pain, Rehab Work Is Not Always Easy

This time your daughter is being especially careful as she prepares for the last three weeks of being on crutches. She obviously wants to get back to running as soon as possible, but she knows that limiting her rehab work to being on an exercise bike, first with non and then limited resistance, is the prescribed route. She wants to be able to be at her best on the day one of nursing school, so she is willing to take these first weeks slowly.

Sometimes it is a history of challenging surgeries that turns a first time nursing student into a success. Nursing students who have had to deal with surgeries, including wound infections and injury care can often more carefully and thoughtfully explain a patient’s post op plan. And while would infections are not limited to surgical procedures, if a nursing student has been a patient on a number of occasions they likely understand what their own patients will be concerned with.

Sports injury medical care requires paying attention to incisions, following through on rehab, and taking medications as described. From getting stitches for a mishap on vacation to recovering from surgery after an athletic injury, doctors and nurses many not always make the best patients, but if they were a patient before pursuing their medical career they just might make great candidates for their chosen professions.

The latest research indicates that emergency room visits now number approximately 110 million a year, and whether these visits are from wound infection after a surgery or for a beach accident, patients will always rely on the experienced doctors and nurses.

Nearly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid-level provider, and 65% have a physician on-site at all times. Fortunately, many of these patients are able to see a nurse even sooner. And some of these nurses are very experienced, even in being on the patient side of the visit.

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