Nursing holding patient's hand before surgery
Travel Nursing September 13, 2016

By AMN Staff Writer

Helping Patients Recover Faster After Surgery

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is designed to accelerate patient recovery by reducing the surgical stress response and supporting the physiological function. A panel is discussing this topic on September 13, 2016, at the Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress in Washington, D.C.

ERAS is comprised of several different methods and anesthesia-specific pathways that form an integrated approach that takes the patient from home through the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative phases of surgery and home again. A key component of enhanced recovery (ER) is patient and family engagement, which helps patients better prepare for surgery and discharge. 

In addition to certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), perioperative nurses and med-surg nurses can play a large role in supporting this engagement.

“The growing body of evidence points to improvements in patient satisfaction, outcomes, and a reduction in cost of care,” said AANA President Juan Quintana, DNP, MHS, CRNA.

Using the enhanced recovery (ER) method has resulted in improved patient care in the following areas:

  1. Reduced length of stay
  2. Reduction in hospital readmissions
  3. Lower incidence of pain sores
  4. Faster return of bowel function
  5. Earlier mobilization

The main components of ER include preoperative counseling, optimization of nutrition, standardized analgesic and anesthetic regimens, and early mobilization. Several components of ER are specific to anesthesia, such as during the preoperative phase, CRNAs are responsible for the patient assessment and contribute to the understanding of the perioperative and post-discharge experience. This information supports the patient to set realistic expectations for anesthesia, surgery and recovery.  

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