Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Year of the Nurse - November 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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P ostoperative nau- sea and vomiting is the last thing patients want to deal with when they're recovering from surgery. Waking up in the PACU feeling sick can ruin any good feelings they might have had about a suc- cessful procedure and the care your team provided. PONV can also lead to concerns more seri- ous than satisfaction scores: pro- longed post-op stays, unanticipat- ed hospital admissions, wound dehiscence, aspiration, esophageal tears, electrolyte imbalance and an overall delay in a return to functional ability. Thankfully, there are several effec- tive and economical ways to pre- vent PONV, especially if you're willing to think outside the box. • Nerve blocks and antiemetics. Narcotics can cause PONV because they slow bowel function, which can lead to constipation, bloating, vomiting and nausea. Employing regional anesthesia, which minimizes the use of heavy narcotics and volatile anesthetics, immediately eliminates two risk factors. As a result, patients will have shorter recoveries, experience less pain and have little to no nausea. Anesthesia providers play an important role in preventing PONV, because they can employ region- al blocks before surgery begins. They might also administer antiemetics — metoclopramide, cyclizine, prochlorperazine, droperidol, ondansetron or dexamethasone — prior to and dur- ing surgery, especially to patients who present with risk factors associated with PONV. • Aromatherapy. For many years, nurses would place an alcohol swab under the nose of a recover- ing patient who was nauseous in an effort to relieve the queasy feeling, but sweeter smelling options are now available. Aromatherapy's exact mechanism of action on the prevention of PONV is unknown, but N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T • 4 5 Jennifer Amedio, RN, BSN, CCRN, PCCN, CPAN, CAPA I Houston PONV Prevention Pays Off Aromatherapy, antiemetics and regional blocks improve discharge times and increase patient satisfaction scores. SWEET SMELL Aromatherapy inhalers offer a blend of four pure and natural essential oils, all of which are known to have therapeutic effects on nausea. Jennifer Amedio

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