Archive August 2018 XIX, No. 8

Ideas That Work: Sight, Sound, + Speech

Let Seniors Wear Their Hearing Aids and Glasses to the OR

Hearing Aid

Getting wheeled into the OR is stressful enough, but imagine how much more anxiety older patients feel if they can't see clearly or fully hear what nurses are saying. In an effort to improve the care of our elderly patients, we let them wear their glasses and hearing aids until just before anesthesia induction. Patients are much more relaxed when they're able to see exactly where they are and who's speaking to them. Perhaps more importantly, our nurses can give them directions without having to raise their voices. We also let patients wear their dentures into the OR to make it easier for them to communicate with us. We encourage patients to bring cases for their glasses and hearing aids, and we provide denture cups. The pre-op nurses note in the patient records which devices patients wore to the OR and the circulating nurse makes the same notation for the PACU nurses to reference. We return the items to patients as soon as possible after surgery so they can reorient themselves in PACU.

Deborah Bartol, BSN, RN-BC, CNOR
Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital
Richmond, Va.

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