Nurse-monitored cardiac recovery: a description of the first 8 weeks.
Health problems and related patient management during early recovery after cardiac surgery are not well documented. As part of a larger study of recovery from cardiac surgery 75 patient-care giver pairs received telephone calls from nurses at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after discharge for the purpose of intervening to facilitate early recovery at home. After each call, nurses recorded detailed notes on the patients' progress and concerns. Content analysis of detailed nurses' recordings revealed the following predominant nursing actions: assessment, provision of support, reinforcement of predischarge teaching, referrals, and teaching. The five nursing diagnoses that occurred most frequently across the 8-week recovery period were altered comfort: pain; ineffective coping, individual; activity intolerance; sleep pattern disturbance; and altered nutrition. In response to these problems, patients managed and prevented health-related problems and engaged in health promotional and normalizing activities. By anticipating common problems in recovery, patients and care givers can be better prepared for going home. Similarly nurses can be better prepared to anticipate and respond to common recovery problems.
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