Archive January 2017 XVIII, No. 1

Ideas That Work: Cure a Patient's Pre-op Headache

first Obtain a surgical mask with 4 ties.
second Fold it in half, foam side in.
third Punch holes on the right and left ends of the bottom, near the fold.
fourth String the front top ties around the back and through the bottom holes.
fifth Snip out a triangle so it fits around the nose.
sixth Bend the top of the mask to conform to the nose.

Cure a Patient's Pre-op Headache

What can you get when you've been NPO, missed your morning java and worried so much you haven't slept a wink? Answer: a big, honking headache. For a patient who has a headache coming on, there's nothing worse than sitting in a bright and bustling pre-op. We are sensitive to that at our center. At the first complaint of pain, we pull out all the stops to soothe that achy head.

After getting those IV fluids going, we might apply an ice pack to the back of the neck or forehead, depending on what feels better for the patient. Especially with those prone to migraines, we reduce ambient stimuli by turning down both the noise and the light. This can also be achieved with disposable earplugs and a sleep mask. Don't have a latex-free sleep mask available? Simply make one for pennies out of a surgical mask. We've provided a step-by-step guide, shown above. (Move over, Martha!)

For those post-op patients who are still complaining of a headache from caffeine withdrawal, send them away satisfied with an iced coffee. The ice provides additional hydration and there's no risk of getting burned.

Lisa Ertle, BA, RN
Surgicare of Oradell (N.J.)

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