Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Awards 2016 - September 2016 - 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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My Recovery From Total Knee Replacement Grueling physical therapy makes surgery seem like the easy part. A s a surgical nurse, I knew what to expect when I got my knee replaced this summer. The steps, the instruments, where the retractors would go. I knew the tourniquet psi and that I'd be prepped from here to there. What I didn't know was what to expect in recovery. Truth is, I never thought much about what happened to my total knee patients in post-op and beyond. After I reported to the PACU nurse, I was focused on the next patient. Here are a few high- lights of my ongoing recovery that took me by surprise. • I knew that total joints didn't get catheters anymore, but it hadn't occurred to me that I'd have to use a bedpan in PACU. There's no dry or dig- nified way of doing that, and now it has to be done. All those years of being proud to be able to work an 8-hour shift without a pee break, right down the proverbial toilet. • A few years ago, I couldn't even get out of bed for 24 hours after abdominal surgery. What made my handlers think I could hoist myself up onto a walker to stand, much less walk, on my bionic knee just a few hours after surgery? • Pain. OMG. I asked a few people I worked with about what to expect. "Your pain will be surgical pain," they said, not the bone-on- bone grinding I'd long suffered. And anesthesia would administer a "magic cocktail" for days of post-op relief. My cocktail must have been a Shirley Temple, because my knee wasted no time before screaming about the foreign object that had taken up residence and the oversized 1 4 6 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 Behind Closed Doors Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR • #$@&%*! Ms. Watkins battles through another torturous physical therapy session after her summer knee replacement surgery.

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