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Learning Outcomes Students who successfully complete this unit of study will be able to demonstrate their capability to:
- understand the underlying principles of caring for a surgical patient in order to perform clinical skills within this context;
- apply evidence informed by research to the practice of caring for the surgical patient;
- respond to the question What could this mean? within the context of the surgical patient to guide practice thinking and judgement;
- demonstrate an understanding of legal guidelines relevant to medication administration, patient confidentiality, consent and documentation applicable to patient encounters during the peri-operative experience
- rehearse and refine core verbal and non verbal communication skills for use with patients and other health professionals;
- utilise case study methodology to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills; and
- reflect upon and build professional behaviours within a developing professional identity through safe ethical nursing practice.
Assessment/ Assignment Items
Assessment 1: Case study (50%)
Case study. Robert, a 27 year old accountant, presented to an emergency department with an abscess to the middle third of his right thigh. Robert is normally fit and well, he takes no regular medications and smokes approximately 15 cigarettes per day. The abscess started five days ago and has been treated with oral antibiotics following consultation between Robert and his General Practitioner. The abscess has grown significantly larger and is exquisitely painful, causing Robert to walk with a limp. The surgical registrar has assessed Robert and notes that Robert has a large abscess to the right thigh, a fever and tachycardia.
Robert’s vital signs, preoperatively, are as follows:
Vitals: T – 38.7 C
HR – 110 bpm
BP – 100/60 mmHg
RR – 22 bths/min
SpO2 – 97% room air
The surgical registrar diagnoses Robert with an abscess and decides to perform an incision and drainage. Surgery occurs and there is a safe surgical outcome. After one hour in recovery Robert is transferred to a surgical ward. On admission to the surgical ward Robert’s vital signs are as follows:
Vitals: T – 37.3 C
HR – 85 bpm
BP – 115/63 mmHg
RR – 17 bths/min
SpO2 – 98% room air
The potential post-operative complications for Robert include the following:
- Venous thromboembolism
- Nausea and vomiting
- Surgical site infection
Choose one potential complications from the list above and critically discuss the nursing assessment and the nursing management (including any preventative measures) of these two complications. In your discussion, draw upon and critique research evidence to identify current best practice.
It should meet the learning outcome 1 and 2.
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