Nurse aid helping resident

The Top Ways a Caregiver Can Help After Surgery

Have you recently learned that you or a loved one that you serve as a caregiver is facing surgery in the near future? As you prepare for the procedure, you will likely have many questions about what’s involved with the healing process and how long it might be before things can get back to normal. In addition to typical nervousness about undergoing the surgery itself, you may be feeling overwhelmed trying to decide about options for after-surgery care. Or perhaps you have yet to think about this critical recuperative period. In either case, there’s no need to worry or struggle with uncertainty.

Here at MediQuest staffing, most people know that we connect our professional healthcare workers with families in the Lancaster County, PA area facing long-term care needs.

We work with you to determine what specific services and personnel will be the best match for your unique needs. You can learn more about our different types of compassionate caregivers here, or simply give us a call at (717) 560-5160 to start the conversation. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most valuable services that caregivers offer for post-surgery assistance.

Documenting vital signs and monitoring for signs of infection

It’s important to note that caregivers work hand-in-hand to track, monitor, and document healing progress. This coordinated effort guarantees better outcomes in recovery whether you are participating in outpatient rehabilitation programs or spending your days after surgery on bed rest. Healthcare providers can record and track patients’ vital signs like temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate to keep loved ones updated on the post-surgical healing process, as well.

Professional caregivers also know the warning signs to look for that point to healing being off-track and can help inform a necessary decision about re-hospitalization if things aren’t going well. In documenting vital signs, abnormalities like breathing troubles or a fever can alert trained caregivers to signs of shock or infection that could quickly become an emergency situation. And if an emergency does occur during the healing process, these caregivers know how to remain calm and keep the patient calm, too, which can be lifesaving.

Monitoring pain levels

Healing can be a painful process, especially in the earliest stages immediately following many types of surgeries. Like monitoring and documenting vital signs, paying attention to pain levels for recovering patients helps to determine whether healing is proceeding well or not. By monitoring and supporting the patient, staff can remind them to take medication as prescribed by a physician, which may alleviate pain. Staff can offer emotional support and comfort, and they can also be an advocate for the patient with other providers and doctors.

Wound care

It’s true that not all surgical procedures result in wounds that require extensive care, but to stave off infection, it’s wise to monitor even small incisions as they heal. This involves assisting the client with changing dressings and can require maintaining drains and tubes, as well. If there are concerns about wounds not healing properly due to a patient being confined to bed, caregivers will work with healthcare providers and the patient to establish an effective plan to encourage healing.

Assisting with ambulation

Following surgery, you will likely need to work on regaining your pre-procedure level of mobility, and even without extensive physical therapy, this involves getting up and walking or “ambulation” in caregiving terminology. Using ambulatory aids like walkers or crutches may also be required, too.

Professional caregivers are trained in practices that will help you get back on your feet in the least painful way possible, and they also can provide physical support for walking and standing, as well. If you’ve been prescribed bed rest as part of your recovery, you will still need to move from time to time, and professional caregivers are skilled in accomplishing these essential bed-based exercises and movements that keep blood circulating and help wounds heal.

Helping with activities of daily living

After surgery, even ordinarily mobile individuals will have difficulty with “activities of daily living” (or ADLs), which include bathing, oral hygiene tasks like brushing and flossing teeth, dressing, eating and drinking, and using the toilet. Additionally, dehydration is often a concern following surgery, as patients dealing with pain or unusual medications may not have a great appetite even if they are physically able to eat and drink. Professional caregivers assure that patients receive adequate nutrients required by the body to support healing.

Lending a helping hand…and a smile

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider as you prepare for surgery and the important healing process that follows. A professional caregiver can offer strong support in the areas we covered in addition to helping with meal preparation, errands, and other household chores, as well. And caregivers are happy just to have a friendly conversation with you to pass the time, too. Healing can actually be somewhat dull, and people who are used to leading more active lives sometimes rush their post-surgical recovery just because they’re bored at home. Not allowing adequate time for healing after surgery can cause serious complications that could land you back in the hospital. With the companionship that a professional caregiver offers, you may feel less cooped up, and that can actually promote healing.

In many ways, caregivers are the knowledgeable guides in the foreign land of the healing process. There is not much that they haven’t seen, and although recovering from surgery is likely an unfamiliar landscape to the patient, professional caregivers can lend an expert perspective that is incredibly helpful. If you’ve just scheduled a surgical procedure or are planning to, contact us here at MediQuest Staffing now. We’re here to help you with all of your post-surgical care needs and concerns.