Pictured is a group of surgeon working

For the third time this week, you’re witnessing a concerning situation. Minutes after arriving at the hospital for a scheduled surgery, a patient is experiencing crippling anxiety. He or she is showing signs of nausea, breathlessness, and a rapid heartbeat. You desperately hope you can calm your patient down before he or she bolts out of the hospital. If you can relate to this scenario, you’re likely familiar with the following common causes of patient stress in the operating room.

Anesthesia Anxieties

Anesthesia anxieties vex many patients in the operating room. This is especially the case for those patients undergoing surgery for the first time in their lives. Some patients fear medical professionals won’t be able to wake them after surgery. Others worry the anesthesia administered to them won’t be effective. They’re concerned they’ll wake up during the middle of a procedure.

Surgeon Error Concerns

Besides anesthesia anxieties, surgeon error concerns plague some patients. For instance, a patient undergoing knee surgery might fear his or her surgeon will operate on the wrong knee. Or, a person facing bariatric surgery may worry his or her surgeon will sew up a pair of scissors in his or her stomach.

Post-Operative Pain Fears

Regardless of whether they’re undergoing a minimally invasive procedure or a life threatening, complex surgery, some patients become overwhelmingly fearful about post-operative pain. A portion of these individuals worry the pain they will experience might prevent them from properly caring for themselves. Some patients may fear they’ll become addicted to narcotics due to experiencing pain for an extended period of time.

Patient stress in the operating room is a very real phenomena. By understanding the root causes of your patients’ anxieties, you can develop successful strategies to help these individuals overcome their fears.

Check back to learn more about how to make your patients feel at ease in the operating room!

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