Patient Safety Awareness Week Advice

Posted on 03/21/13 by Dr. Paul Yost, M.D.

For the anesthesiologists at Allied, our patient’s safety and comfort is a top priority.

In addition to administering anesthesia in the operating room, the anesthesiologist monitors a patient’s heart rate and breathing during surgery and provides medication and methods to handle pain post operation.

Most patients are a little nervous prior to a medical procedure. Any uncertainties or anxieties about anesthesia should be addressed prior to surgery by talking to your anesthesiologist.

The relationship between patient and anesthesiologist should be a strong one based on trust and understanding. Here are some important questions you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your anesthesiologist before and after your procedure.

What is your training and experience? 

Patients should ask whether their anesthesiologist is a medical doctor or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Some states allow CRNAs to administer anesthesia on their own, while other states require an anesthesiologist’s supervision.  Either way, patients should know what kind of training and experience the individual, who supervises their anesthesia care, has.

Allied Anesthesia only employs high quality anesthesiologists, who are among the top 1 percent in the country.  The group specializes in pediatric anesthesia and is the exclusive anesthesia provider for Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

What will you be doing during the surgery?

In short, I make sure my patients know that I will be watching every beat off their heart and every breath they take.

Many patients don’t realize that anesthesiologists are an integral component of the surgical team along with surgeons, nurses and others in the operating room. Administering anesthesia is just the first step. Anesthesiologists monitor the patient’s vital signs and are prepared to respond rapidly in case of an emergency.

What if I get nervous before surgery?

The first step is making sure you’ve got the right fit. Choosing a top quality hospital and a quality anesthesiologist will go a long way toward easing anxiety.

Once you’re in the operating room, one way to calm yourself is to think about something relaxing. For instance, think about your favorite vacation spot, your children or your favorite food. Think about things that make you happy.

If it’s not you that’s having the procedure it’s still common to be a little nervous, especially if you’re a parent with a child undergoing surgery. Make a list of questions and ask before your child has the operation to help put your mind at ease.

What should I expect when I awake?

Anesthesiologists also are pain management specialists.  They have access to a variety of medications and techniques that will help decrease a patient’s discomfort after surgery.

The physicians at Allied Anesthesia have done a lot of creative things with ultrasound guided nerve blocks for acute postoperative pain. Nerve blocks may be used as the main anesthetic technique or combined with general anesthesia to substantially reduce pain after surgery. They have proven to be invaluable to patients undergoing more invasive procedures such as joint replacement and bone fracture repair.

Because we know what we’re doing, patients get discharged quicker and are able to begin physical therapy soon after surgery.

Our specialty is to make sure that when patients wake up from surgery they are comfortable and we can handle any potential discomfort they might have.

What’s a good way to prepare myself for surgery?

A patient’s surgical experience has a lot to do with their expectations.

Those who expect to do well, generally do.

It’s important to approach the procedure with a positive attitude, confident that you have chosen the best hospital, the best surgeon and the best anesthesiologist.

After that, all that’s left is for you to do is close your eyes, relax and let it happen.

 

 

 

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