What to Expect
When you are scheduled for a procedure at Mid Coast Hospital, we work closely with your physician’s office to make sure your pre-op visit or telephone interview is scheduled and completed before you arrive. On the day of your procedure you will check in with the surgical services receptionist located just to the right of the information desk at the main hospital entrance.
1. Ambulatory Care Unit
After arrival and check in, a nurse will escort you to a private room in the Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) and verify important information including name, date of birth, surgeon, and procedure. Preparation for surgery will take place in this area with site scrubs and IV insertions being performed by your nurse. The nurse will discuss educational needs, review your discharge plans, and answer questions. You may have a family member with you while you wait to go to the Operating Room.
2. Operating Room
The operating room nurse and anesthesiologist will meet you in your room and escort you to the operating room. The operating room is a clean, sterile environment. Personnel working in this area wear special clothing. Once in the surgical suite, the entire operating room staff will again verify all vital information. The questions may seem repetitive but this is an important safety step.
3. Recovery Room
When your surgery is complete, the anesthesiologist and Operating Room nurse will take you to the Recovery Room where a nurse will closely monitor you. You may be wearing oxygen, which helps you wake up, and is not a cause for concern. Depending on the condition of all patients in the Recovery Room, a family member may be with you for a short period of time. Not all patients require the Recovery Room.
4. Back to Your Room
When you return to your room, you may still feel sleepy and your IV will be in place. The nurse will offer you water, ginger ale or apple juice according to your physician’s orders. Theses fluids tend to be better tolerated on an empty stomach. Once you tolerate such fluids, the nurse will offer you some food choices following your physician’s orders. When you are tolerating the fluids, the nurse will remove your intravenous line. A nurse must accompany you on your first attempt to get out of bed because you may feel dizzy or weak from anesthesia, medications, or the surgery.
5. Family and Visitors
In order for you to rest and recover from surgery, we ask that visits be quiet and orderly. We allow one family member or friend to stay with you in your ACU room and recommend that visits from small children are kept brief. Support from others is a vital part of your recovery, both in the hospital and at home. The more your family and friends know about your health and your surgery, the more helpful they can be to you. Your nurse will be happy to talk to them about questions and concerns. We welcome their involvement in your care.
6. Going Home
Your doctor and nurse will determine when you are ready to leave the hospital according to set discharge criteria. It is natural to feel both happy that you are going home and nervous about how to care for yourself. Your doctor will discuss your instructions and answer any questions you may have. The nurse will reinforce these instructions and give you your prescriptions and a discharge instruction sheet. Within the next week, you will receive a phone call from a nurse to follow up on how you are doing.