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Preparing the Environment and Taking Care of Food & Nutrition Needs of Surgical Patients Assignment


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In the contemporary world, diseases and various other infections found amongst individuals have increased by leaps and bounds. No longer do the lifestyle and the living patterns of the individuals match the past scenario of the stereotypical ones (Hakim et al., 2020). In the modern world, people are all the more aware of their individual needs and requirements, and this has but only put extra loaded pressure on the hospital staff and the medical students. Self-care and the services of other care units are further utilised for looking after an individual in a manner that makes them heal from their current scenario to the fullest (Zhao et al., 2019). Throwing light on a segregated case, surgical patients are one of those patients that are cured for keeping their ability maintained along with minimising the side effects which is related to the distinct cases.

The care of surgical patients begins in the preoperative phase and is continued into the perioperative and intraoperative phases through to recovery and postoperative care. Nevertheless, surgery performed on a patient requires effective care and treatment post-execution. A patient that has gone through the same requires to be treated effectively for healing and walking on the lines of betterment (Van Egmond et al., 2018). Throwing light on my own case, at present I am a nurse working in the United Kingdom. Previously I have had experiences in the OT department in India. The following report aims to shed critical light on the same along with highlighting the essential need for preparing the environment for surgical patients. The report, in a reflective manner, describes my own personal experience where I took care of the essential needs of surgical patients along with looking after their food and nutrition requirements.


The recovery of surgical patients could take any time between few weeks to months, largely depending upon the typology of operation the patient has gone through. Communication starts from the moment you are introduced to your patient by the ward staff. Surgical patients may also go through some postoperative side effects along with severe complication relying on their age and the side effects being faced by them (Shafi et al., 2018).

Appraising their own role in relation to care of the surgical patient

I remember while I was doing my internship at small nursing and effective care home in my locality, I was granted the responsibility to look after the needs and requirements of patients. As the nursing and effective health care unit was small, the number of patients in it roughly ranged from 50-70, out of which I was tasked to look after roughly 8 to 10 patients on a day to day to basis. Though initially, I thought that looking after the patients would be quite an easy task as I had learned it from my university theories, yet as the days passed by, I realised there was eventually quite more to it than I actually thought.

Maximum patients I was looking after on a day to day basis had undergone surgery where few had back surgeries, and most had bladder surgeries. One good thing about the patients I was looking after was the fact that each of them had their own energy with them where they reacted and responded to the treatment being provided to them. This particular essence further uplifted my morals and my efforts for working towards them. Surgical patients, after their treatment, own the capability of tackling infectious diseases (Collaborative, 2020).

I believe as I was a young professional working in the field in my initial days itself, I was taking every single step for providing effective care as I had learnt in theories. However, as the days passed by, I realised I was somewhere greatly lagging behind in responding to situations. Like I needed that immediateness in me to respond to the needs of the patient in case of urgency. All the same, I believe after the first week, I was able to find myself back on the track where not only did I learn the essentialness of urgency, but I could also respond back as desired by the situation.

Preparing the environment for the surgical patients

 The essence of a healing environment contributes greatly to the betterment of the patient in the long run. A patient that has simply undergone a hefty surgery requires to feel calm in the surrounding environment for healing on a quick basis (Wancata et al., 2017). As far as my own case is considered, I believe I took every essential step towards preparing the environment for the betterment of the patients. The atmosphere of a nursing home or an effective care unit plays a key role in making the patients feel secure and sound while they take their inner initiatives of recovering from their pain stakes (Kendall et al., 2017). For preparing an accurate environment, the very first step I took was looking after the medication needs of the patients.

Medication after surgery controls and balances the pain being endured by the patients on a day to day basis (Hawkins et al., 2020). Though at times, I was working as an intermediatory forming the connecting link between my patients and the doctor as part and parcel of maintaining a healthy environment, never did I make my patients feel left out. The doctors working in the hospital often prescribed different medications to the patients on a weekly basis which I made sure to provide my patients in a timely manner.

While providing the prescribed medications to my patients, I always made it a point to communicate to them that it is way easier to prevent pain than to control it on another level. Next, as part and parcel of preparing an effective environment, I also took the initiative of keeping the incision dry and clean. The bandages of the patients were changed and altered in a timely manner before they became extra bloody. Nevertheless, in addition to the same, I made it a point to check for swelling, fever and increased pain in my patients as well. In severe surgical cases, redness found around the incision site is usually considered normal. I believe a lot of the patients under me were suffering from panic attacks due to the same. Taking a look after the same issue, I made it a point to apply antibiotic cream suggested by my senior doctor to reduce the patients suffering and their thought process towards recovering on a quick basis.

Food and Nutrition Needs

The dietary supplements such as the food and nutrition needs of a patient, when fulfilled, increases their chance of recovery to another level. Nevertheless, the patients that are quite well prepared for their surgery usually have a much easier and smoother recovery when weighed against that of others (Porat and Dahan, 2020). As far as my case of looking after them is considered, I believe while overlooking their well being I took the initiative of making sure every essential nutrient that is required forms a part of their diet. In addition, I also took peculiar care in ensuring that the patients understand the need for such a diet. Surgical patients are often advised to plan their diet ahead and thereby accordingly purchase the soft food items much ahead prior to their surgery (Gillis and Wischmeyer, 2019). Therefore, keeping the same theoretical knowledge in consideration, I made it a proper point to look after the food and nutrition needs of the patients. For instance, on the first go, I made it a point to read and go through the doctor's prescription for making sure that the essential criteria are met and that I do not end up providing any other food to the patient.

All the same, as the requirements and the demands of different patients spoke differently, the food and nutrition need also differed accordingly. 'Hearty soup' was one essential item that was common to the list of every surgical patient. 'Juice' twice a day was also another essential item that was common to the list of every patient suffering from post-surgery effects (Al-Mutawa et al., 2018). According to my theoretical university gained knowledge, clear fluids are essential for surgical patients. However, this same knowledge was found to be extremely challenging when witnessed in the practical field as I noticed a few patients vomiting after receiving the same supplementary diet as a part of their regular routine. In such a scenario, I made sure that to consult the doctor and fix the issues being faced by the patients in a timely manner. It is extremely crucial to maintain nutrition for the optimal healing of surgical patients to occur in a period wise manner (Sherf Dagan et al., 2017). Keeping the same in mind, I even made it a point that my patients take their food and suppled diet seriously. I particularly faced issues while looking after the food needs and requirements of young adults.

Recovering from surgery can usually take more time than required where even though the patients might feel like getting back to their old routine, their bodies might tell them otherwise. To make the recovery procedure speeder, it's all the more critical to follow the post-surgery plans. I believe the requirements of food and nutrition needs are such plans that are outlined by the doctor to let the patient meet their recovery status on a quick basis. In addition to the same, as per the doctor's advice and my own theoretical knowledge, I made it a point to provide them boiled eggs. A simple dose of one egg provides the patient's body with a proper dose of Vitamin A, E and B along with zinc, calcium and iron. Fruits were also provided to the patients to offer them a proper dose of carbohydrates and antioxidants (Weimann et al., 2017). A few of the best fruits to be provided to the surgical patients undergoing the line of recovery are berries, as they provide Vitamin C topped with apples, apricots, melons and peaches. However, even after providing and looking after the needs in an elaborate manner, I noticed each patient taking their own time for recovering.

Focusing solely on the aspects of nutrients, I believe a healing body depends greatly on the typology of acceptance the patient shows towards the treatment. Greens are regarded as nature's multivitamin it is produced by plants and is quite well known for their major role in blood clotting (Thirumdas et al., 2021). I witnessed one of my patient suffering a lot after the back surgery and, as per the doctor's advice, was asked to consume Turnip greens. However, while serving the same to the patient, I noticed and realised that the patient was not quite forthcoming when it came down to accepting the meal. This was the time where I applied my theoretical knowledge in comforting the patient by making him feel in a homely environment so as to provide him the exact time to accept and eat as per the betterment. Protein post-surgery is quite essential to keep the patient going in the process of speedy recovery (Gianotti et al., 2018).

I believe most of the patients coming from different backgrounds took their own time in accepting this, as I witnessed most of them being dependent upon medications and accepting the fact that their prescribed medicines would assist them in recovering on a speedy basis. Medications are undoubtedly essential for a patients’ recovery, yet food and nutrition's serve as the essential fuel to keep the patient's body in a proper position (Vaos et al., 2019). I believe this was the particular area where I had to educate each of my patients to take their food on a serious note without delaying on time. As most of the time, their internal pain contributed significantly to making them act otherwise, harming and distorting the equilibrium on a serious note. The healthy essentials present in the aforementioned food items could wind up and keep the patient's body in check. I believe providing the patients with the knowledge on the same was the toughest part of my entire period time spend in the health care unit.

As a matter of known fact, the list of essential food and nutrition's contains a long line of fruit and vegetables that are to be provided to the patients for letting them heal from their current scenario. However, as per the doctor's advice and my own particular belief, I feel not every nutrition is required. Rather a perfect blend is what helps and keeps the patient on a beneficial pathway towards recovery.

Synthesising theory and practice in relation to learning from incidents

Advancements on the medical and technological grounds have largely increased the level of patients' participation in the recovery process on an overall basis. The extensive health care units operating in the United Kingdom and throughout the world are further required to provide minute care to the patients in order to let them recover on a speedy or urgent basis, whichever forms the basis (Hu et al., 2017).

When weighing the issue to that of the ancient world and its practices, it is to be mentioned that in the ancient times, the concept of care largely remained confined to homes where hospitals being few in number and having lack of types of equipment were just not the place for recovery. However, in modern time, the practice is totally different where a huge number of patients look up to taking the services of healthcare units for surviving and recovering in the presence of professionals (Agrusa et al., 2017). As far as my own case of interning in the health care unit is considered, I believe I was a part and professional of such a health care unit that had its health care codes clearly drafted. One such code of practice clearly stated and mentioned was about including patient's consent in case of any emergency and thereby keeping everything transparent to them. Whereas the other code of practices solely focused on the use of equipment's and how they are to be utilised after the agreement and for the betterment of patients.

As per the beliefs of Person (2017), the surgical patients require extra diligence and hence are to be kept under the presence of such professionals who are actively alert. Throwing light on my own case, I believe as the weeks passed by in the hospital, I was becoming more and more alert as I could respond back to emergency situations in the quickest manner possible. Nevertheless, Hawker (2018) accordingly states that before anything else, the surgical patients require a comfort level, which in the current time is absent even in their respective homes.

The scholar further states that the modern lifestyle has further created a stress worthy situation at homes, and hence the patients might be unable to fully recover in such an environment. In other words, the author mainly aims to pick the point that surgical patients require a homely environment away from homes. As mentioned previously in my own case, I took note of fulfilling and maintaining such an environment that makes the patients feel at their own home space. I believe I provided the patients with the particular care which not only made them respond to the treatments but also gave them a chance to communicate their own held on feelings to me.

However, I believe this practice also exposed me to constructive criticism largely. I feel by the passing days; my patients were high all the more open to me. Where they specifically pick pointed for me the areas I was doing well and the areas I needed to work upon. I believe such feedbacks on the early days of my career were quite essential. As it made me realise and witness my own drawbacks, which I believe could help me greatly in the times to come.

Implementing solutions to minimise the likelihood of them reoccurring

According to the revelations of Cooke (2017) presence of adequate medical professionals around the surgical patients can work towards fostering a realisation of the activities for ensuring quality medical treatment. I believe quality medical treatment depends largely on one medical professional to another. For instance, in my case, I particularly believed maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is essential for maintaining the quality of treatment being provided to the surgical patients.

As I was particularly tasked to look after the food and nutrition needs of the patients as well, I believe my knowledge of hygiene contributed significantly towards granting quality care and environment to the patients. For instance, I peculiarly made sure that the fruits and other food being provided to the patients are washed and are brought to them in closed containers. This methodology ensured that no dust and other outer bacteria could enter the food for making it unhygienic for the patients. Nevertheless, I also followed every step to make sure I abided by the hospital norms and code of conduct to provide maximum safety and concern to the patients.

Examining contemporary issues and challenges in surgical care

As per the viewpoints of Sheldon (2017), good patient outcome is increasingly crucial, along with being the primary treatment goals of various healthcare units. The scholar further states for achieving this, a coordinated treatment process is required. When co-linking this to my own practice and experience, I believe I experienced one of my patient vomitings after having and being strictly on the aforementioned nutrition diet. Nevertheless, the healthcare unit I used to work for also had its own standard of practice of coordinating while providing the treatment.

After noticing the case, I immediately made it a point to contact my senior doctor to figure out the essential steps I had to take up for combating the issue. As per the doctor received advice, I immediately shifted the patient to the liquid diet in order to prevent such incidents from reoccurring again in future. Nervousness being faced and witnessed by the patient had led towards such an issue being faced by her. However, after constant care, the patient recovered where the liquid diet not only responded well but also made the patient capable of taking proper nutrition's for a speedy recovery on the final grounds. I believe via this experience; I was able to implement and bring such a solution to practice that totally minimised the likelihood of them happening or occurring again.

WHO Surgical Safety Checklist

The WHO surgical safety checklist is one such checklist that was specifically developed to mitigate and minimise the occurrence of any adverse event in practice. The surgical safety checklist was accordingly developed for increasing the coordination and teamwork aspects along with the communication between professionals amidst the surgery (Papadakis et al., 2019). The checklist of WHO further lays effective stress on the following factors such as:

-Early engagement of staff

-Active leadership and other identification of the local champions

-Multidisciplinary involvement

-Ongoing feedback

-Local adaption

-Extensive discussion, training and education


Considering the aforementioned checklist, it can be stated that the checklist covers every aspect which is essential for staff to cover in order to prosper on the medical grounds. The list even covers the essence, which can but only keep a hospital or a healthcare unit in a win-win position if followed accurately. Shedding critical light on my own case, I took effective care to work on the ongoing feedback which I received from my senior doctors. I believe the feedback I received from them nourished me into a finer version of myself, making me a well-versed professional of all time.

The feedback on quality care assisted me in delivering such a treatment to my patients that helped them in recovering on a quicker basis. In addition, coaching was also quite fundamental to my entire journey and the span of weeks I spent in the extensive health care unit. For instance, as mentioned, the first week of my internship witnessed a totally different me, whereas as a healthcare professional, I was nervous and slightly offbeat, noticing the real practical environment for the very first time. However, with the passing time, I gained my much-required confidence to operate on the field after being coached by my immediate senior. I believe this training and coaching transformed me both professionally and personally as I was able to pick point the issues being faced in surgical care on a personal level.

Consent of patient in urgent cases is one of the biggest contemporary issue being faced in surgical care. Advancement on the grounds of technology has further put it on the shoulder of doctors to take patient’s consideration before proceeding further with any sort of treatment (Jain et al., 2018). Nevertheless, I feel my multidisciplinary approach also assisted my patients greatly in recovering as it provided them with an advantageous edge of communicating to me without hesitating about anything.

On the contrary, I believe the peculiar area where I and my healthcare unit was severely lagging behind was the identification of active leadership and other local champions. I feel when it comes down to leadership, I typically lag behind still as I am not really fast when it comes down to decision making. However, I also think that any active enthusiasm shown from the end of my healthcare unit would have contributed significantly towards my growth and upliftment on the final grounds.


In the end, it can be concluded that the care of surgical patients requires the medical and healthcare professionals to successfully implement a suitable setting for the patient to adapt on a day to day basis. Local consultation and peer feedback assist a medical professional in shaping up and sharping their skills which I even felt and went through in my own case. The modern working mechanism of health care units is entirely different, and hence the care provided to surgical patients must be minutely enacted, as witnessed in my aforementioned reflective journey.


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