Participation in selected orthopedic cases : an honors thesis [(HONRS 499)]

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Frazer, Laura B.
Brown, Eleanor J.
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Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
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From April 4, 1978 to April 28, 1978, I was present at eight orthopedic procedures performed by Alan J. Habansky, M.D. I worked closely with and was supervised by his nurse, Barb Garinger, R.N. I observed two of these cases, helped circulate for four, and scrubbed/assisted on the other two.I chose to participate in surgery of orthopedic nature as my Honors Thesis project for two main reasons: 1) As a Nurse’s Aide at Ball Memorial Hospital, I am often assigned to work on 3 East (Orthopedics floor.) I have become fascinated by diseases and injuries of the bones and joints. The more “mechanical” aspects of nursing have always interested me, and I decided that an in-depth study concerning some facet of orthopedics would afford me an opportunity to learn even more about the human skeleton, traction set-ups, and rehabilitation techniques such as patient transfers and crutch training. I have often thought that I could care for surgical orthopedic patients more completely if I were able to visualize exactly what had been accomplished in surgery.2) I wanted to choose a project in which I could follow specific orthopedic patients through all phases of their hospital experiences: admission, conservative treatment, surgical intervention, postoperative care, and rehabilitation. Ihope to prove the value of pre- and postoperative instruction, as evidenced by the patient’s increased level of understanding and decreased level of anxiety at various stages of his hospital stay.Due to limitations of time and space, I shall present four of the eight cases with which I was involved. I decided to discuss in detail the chosen cases not only because they represent a variety of ages and orthopedic procedures, but because they were the cases in which I participated to the greatest degree. Due to my class schedule, the only days I was able to be present in Surgery were Tuesdays. This is the day that Dr. Habansky schedules elective orthopedic procedures. The majority of the cases he performed on Tuesdays between the dates mentioned were lower extremities cases, and that is the reason why the four cases presented in this paper all deal with injuries of the knee, ankle, and foot.As a nursing student, I have worked with many postoperative patients who are bewildered, in pain, and confused by fragmented care and thus are not conducive to teaching. I decided to be present at each stage of my selected patients’ hospital stays, and evaluate whether having at least one nurse there consistently was beneficial to these patients. I decided to measure the efficacy of my project by observing 1) The patient’s level of anxiety in the Operating Room, Recovery Room, and on the ward, and 2) The patient’s level of understanding of certain hospital procedures and his retention of preoperative instructions. Thus , the focus of my project is to increase the knowledge and abilities of the surgical orthopedic patient with the hopes of contributing to a smooth postoperative period.