Things to Consider When Dealing with Post-Op Patients

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Things to Consider When Dealing with Post-Op Patients


For many, the days leading up to surgery are a little nerve-wracking. Patients may be grateful to be on their way to restored health but still realize that they have a journey ahead of them. Fast forward to the days and months after surgery. You should be sure to note these special considerations when planning and implementing post-op treatment sessions. 


Surgery is serious, and it is likely your patient had been dealing with pain for some time before getting the surgery they need. They may be hesitant to start any kind of rehabilitation and may be new to the efficacy of therapy altogether. For this reason, you need to be sure to clearly communicate why they need therapy and what they can expect from treatment should they be compliant with their care. Be proactive in this from your first time meeting them and reminding them of these goals throughout each treatment session. 


Anger, stress and depression are some of the negative attitudes that come as a consequence of many post-op patients. They may be feeling some anxiety that everything they went through with the surgery may be fruitless. They may have a lot on their mind in regards to the pain and likely even the finances involved in an expensive surgery. Be prepared that they may take this anger and frustration out on you. Empathize with the many emotions they may be experiencing and do not let it impact your quality of care to get the patient feeling their best. 


Pain is always a consideration we must consider when working with patients. The same is true with post-op patients. Acknowledge that they are in pain and offer solutions to help manage their pain until they are healed. This pain is why they are in therapy and you can help them get to where they want to be. Be patient and help them to understand that even though they feel like they have lost control, the ability to heal is in their hands. They can trust you to help get them there. It’s all about communication.


The patient's family and friends are an important part of recovery. Unfortunately, in some instances, they can be a hindrance to recovery. If they are there during treatment, they may be a distraction to the patient or become defensive when the patient is challenged. It’s important to communicate with the family as well as the patient about the purpose of the treatment and what they can expect from you, the expert. They may even feel guilt over leaving their family in order to attend treatment. The natural reaction may be to distance ourselves from the patient or family, but the best course of action is to engage with them. 

We hope these considerations will help you to perform to the best of your ability with your next post-op patient. For more tips on providing a great patient experience, visit our website today!