Finding out you have to undergo major surgery can be both daunting and overwhelming. Doctors will go over what you need to do to prepare and how your life may change due to the surgical procedure down the road. And then there is the financial responsibility and health insurance red tape.
As you are preparing to go into the hospital, you might realize that there are many things you may not have considered. Have you thought about who will pick you up once you are discharged? What about the information on medications you might be bombarded with either before or after surgery and caring for the surgical site? Do you think you will remember everything you are told?
Good post-surgical care, even if it is just for a couple of days, is vital to recovery. Frank Sanders, general manager and owner of BrightStar Care of Greenville/Spartanburg, said they often provide help for who need it with medication management and basic care after their major surgery.
“We can have a nurse walk them through all of that,” he said. “We’ll even have our caregivers pick them up and help them get settled when they get home.”
Sanders said their nurses and caregivers can of course help patients with personal care when they get home post-surgery, but that they are also equipped to make them meals and even grocery shop.
“Picking up medications at the pharmacy is something that many people do not think about after their surgery,” he said. “That is usually needed almost right away yet can be daunting if you can’t drive.”
Post-surgical care is critical mainly in those first 24 to 48 hours.
“This is not long-term care,” he said. “These clients get back to normal pretty quickly, but they just need that special assistance in those first couple of days, which is very important.”
Ruth Boineau, director of nursing with BrightStar Care of Greenville/Spartanburg, said she sees many homes that are unsafe for people post-surgery.
“We will make sure their homes are arranged so they can easily get from room to room,” she explained. “We can also assess their bathrooms to see if they need a device to help in the shower, for example.”
Boineau also noted that the last thing anyone would want is to be readmitted to the hospital.
“Of course there is the expense but also just the germs in that setting can slow down their rehabilitation process because they will be susceptible to infection,” she commented.
She said they see patients of all ages needing post-op care.
“Some patients get plastic surgery and maybe they don’t want to tell their friends and family about it so they get us to help,” she said. “Or maybe their spouse or companion in the house isn’t able to care for them for a myriad of reasons. Or maybe they don’t want a friend helping them with personal care, like help with undressing or changing bandages.”
Post-surgery care is really for everyone and can range from unplanned injuries or surgery to planned surgeries where people had adequate time to prepare.
Sanders also noted that BrightStar’s post-surgical care is not a huge expense that will only add to the already high dollar amount that most people are paying for their surgery.
“It is reasonable,” he said. “So many people are amazed that it doesn’t cost more.”
For more information on BrightStar Care of Greenville/Spartanburg, visit www.brightstarcare.com or call 864-599-0452.
By Theresa Stratford