For those working in the field of anesthesia management services, patient comfort always comes first. Helping the patient feel comfortable before surgery is just as important as keeping the patient comfortable during surgery. Read on for tips on how to ease pre-procedure patient anxiety.
– Listen to the patient’s concerns
It’s likely that the patient has concerns about anesthesia, especially if they’ve never had a surgical procedure before. Before it’s time to head into the operating room, go to the pre-op area, introduce yourself, and sit down with the patient. Remember that although you do this work every day, your patient does not. The concerns that they have are likely routine- it’s important to remind yourself to be patient and thorough in your answers, even if you’ve already answered the same question ten times that day. If your patient has had surgery before, ask them about their experience with anesthesia. If they had issues in the past, explain to them how you’ll ensure that they do not experience those issues this time around. Be sure to communicate any previous anesthesia issues to the rest of the surgical team. Your patience and calm reassurance will help to ease your patient’s nerves.
– Ease common fears
Many patients worry that they’ll wake up during the procedure, or that they’ll feel pain. Reassure your patient that this will not happen. It can be helpful to reassure your patient by telling them how many years you’ve been working as an anesthesiologist, and by telling them that you’re good at your job (your patient will see this as helpful, not arrogant). Many patients also take comfort in being reminded that they will not remember anything after they wake up from the procedure. If your patient has had bad experiences in the past, this step can be especially important. Make sure to pay attention to the body language cues of the patient while you’re having this conversation- some patients want to know every detail of how the anesthesia will work, and others prefer to be left in the dark.
– Operating room comfort
When the patient is wheeled into the operating room, the various devices and sheer size of the room can spike their anxiety. Placing a reassuring hand on their shoulder and re-introducing yourself (since they may not recognize you in surgical gear) can be very helpful. It’s also a great idea to ask them questions about their general comfort- are they too hot/ cold? Is the music ok? Are they feeling relaxed? Adjusting the room to the needs of the patient make it clear that their needs are important and come first. As you begin to administer the anesthesia, talk your patient through everything that is happening so that they know what to expect. This will help them become unconscious peacefully.