What Is At-Home Post-Operative Care?

What Is At-Home Post-Operative Care?

Post-operative care describes the treatment that occurs after a surgical procedure. It begins immediately after the operation, usually starting at the hospital as inpatient care. Following the discharge from hospital, people continue their recovery at home, which can include visits to the hospital for outpatient care.

For many people, at-home post-operative care is required to help them recover. There are several factors involved that affect the type and frequency of care needed. They include the type of surgery and the person’s overall health. Let’s take a look at the importance of post-operative care and the role of a carer in delivering it. This is most relevant to those seeking a role in domiciliary care or home care positions.

Why Is Post-Operative Care Important?

After an operation, the doctor will usually provide guidelines for the recovery. Sticking to these is crucial to ensuring that the intervention is successful and that the person can regain their well-being and quality of life.

Assistance during the recovery phases helps people follow the doctor’s guidelines. It’s also necessary for being able to rest without worrying about day-to-day tasks. The help and support from a post-operative carer improves the person’s well-being in a number of ways, which we’ve outlined below.

Ensure Recovery

The primary reason that post-operative care is essential is to ensure recovery. After an operation, doctor’s guidelines could include following a certain diet, exercise, dressing changes and other activities. They’re all required to help the body heal and regain the level of health before the surgical procedure or even better.

A carer helps someone in need of care with their recovery routine. That could include helping them with their exercises, administering medication and checking that they get enough rest. It can be a distressing time for the patient, so having someone to help them through the process is vital.

Prevent Complications

While most people’s recoveries include promising signs of regaining their abilities and well-being, there can be setbacks. Post-operative care plays an integral role in taking action to prevent complications and to monitor for any signs that something is wrong.

For example, there might be things that a patient shouldn’t do, such as lift heavy objects, which might tear their stitches. A carer can ensure these tasks are handled and that the patient doesn’t put themselves in danger. There might also be signs that the body isn’t recovering as well as expected. Post-operative care means looking out for signs of an infection, a fever, bleeding, shock and other complications.

Improved Quality of Life

Adjusting after an operation can be challenging, especially after a long hospital stay. Post-operative care is instrumental in making that transition a smooth one. It’s crucial to building new routines throughout the recovery, which make day-to-day life easier and more pleasant.

If the recovery progresses and complications are prevented, the person can increase their activities. They can slowly regain control of aspects of their life as they improve. Having support and guidance along the way makes this part of the recovery possible. It means the person can do more in a safe way that doesn’t halt their progress.

What Do You Do If You’re A Post-Operative Carer?

A significant part of the role of a post-operative carer is providing comfort and support. Your presence means the person can spend time in their own home, which will make them feel safer and improve their chances of recovery. You’ll guide the person in the activities that will help them get better and act as reassurance.

There are several duties involved in post-operative care work. We’ve shared the different tasks and what they involve.

  • Assessment - You might work with a care manager or team to establish what someone needs after their surgery. It’ll involve gaining an understanding of their abilities and how much help they’ll require.

  • Support Planning - After an assessment, a care plan is drawn up. You might design this, or you might be part of a team that includes care managers, nurses and doctors. The person will also have their views heard on their care needs.

  • Medicines - Your role could involve administering medicines or just reminding someone and helping them manage the medication they need to take.

  • Monitoring - Alongside comfort and support, a large part of the role involves monitoring. Not only will you be ensuring their daily welfare, but you’ll be checking their progress to report on their recovery. This monitoring will also inform the care plan and any changing needs.

  • Assistance with Mobility - After an operation, the person you’re caring for might need help with personal care, getting out of bed or other mobility assistance.

  • Wound Care - Your role could include monitoring a wound, checking for bleeding and ensuring the area is kept clean.

  • Complying with Dietary Requirements - Some post-operative carers help patients stick to doctor’s guidelines regarding what they should and shouldn’t eat. It could include helping to prepare food and making sure the person stays hydrated.

  • Attending Appointments - Outpatient appointments are often necessary following an operation. Your role can include helping them get to and from the appointments, as well as navigating the timings, where to go and what to do next.

  • Responding to Side Effects and Complications - As part of monitoring, a post-operative carer will need to respond when there are signs of complications or side effects from medication. They might need to talk to medical staff in the care team, speak to the person’s doctor or call an ambulance.

A person’s requirements will determine what type of care they receive. You can read about the two types below.

Visiting Care

For those who don’t need round-the-clock support, visiting care is enough. It usually means one or more visits at set times across the day. The prearranged visits are set out in the support plan to coincide with medication administration, personal care tasks or supervising mobility exercises.

Live-In Care

If more monitoring and care is required, a live-in carer will stay in a person’s home with them while they’re recovering. It means they can be there for every meal and help them with more general daily support, including responding to emergencies and needs at night.

Remember to refer to this information when planning for your application or interview to home care positions. Good luck with your job search!