The Perioperative Period: Nursing Reflection

The Perioperative Period
The Perioperative Period

The Perioperative Period

The perioperative period includes various processes and procedures that bring about multiple and challenging changes to a patient (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2010). A major surgical intervention is accompanied with multiple stressful components such as worries about survival, length of admission to hospital, one’s physical condition after the surgery, separation from the family, and the financial implication, factors that significantly impact on a patient’s recovery (Gouin and Kiecolt-Glaser, 2012).

For example, based on my reading, the patient revealed that during pre-operative phase, he experienced psychological stress and anxiety brought about by the thoughts of fear of death, physical deformity related with the surgical intervention, longer stays in the hospital, longer recovery period, and the cost of the whole surgical procedure and care. He affirmed that the fear, anxiety and stress slowed his recovery (Hudson & Ogden, 2016).

The physical environment of a patient such as lights and sounds can also affect a patient’s recovery (Nelson, et al., 2016). The patient also described the sounds from the equipment and people in the vicinity of the recovery unity as having affected his sleep and sensory, occasionally bringing back the thought of the surgery procedure. This deprived him of emotional peace.

Besides, the patient described his confinement to the hospital bed in the recovery unit under the extensive monitoring machines as a painful and scary experience that distressed him (Hudson & Odgen, 2016). According to Gouin and Kiecolt-Glaser (2012), pain and distress during perioperative period can be influenced by emotions triggered by the physical environment factors result in physical changes in a patient, thus slowing his recovery period.

Surgery also results in inability on the patient. During the perioperative period, a patient is unable to engage in certain duties, responsibilities and activities. This leads them to have low self-esteem and feels insecure (Marks, 2015). The patient also described that during his recovery period, he experienced sudden changes in his social and family life as he could not return immediately to his normal life and perform the duties he valued most.

This made him loose sense of self-esteem and raise insecurity concern on his part. Besides, having to live with a life-changing diagnosis for the rest of his life was traumatizing and frustrating altogether as it was associated with some form of isolation from friends and family. Nonetheless, he acknowledged the contribution of his carers (immediate family and clinicians) who gave him hope in life (Hudson & Ogden, 2016).

Having read the patient’s experience, I have come to appreciate the need for social and spiritual support for a patient undergoing major surgical intervention. The social support is crucial for enabling the patient understand the aftermath implications of the surgery and consequently prepare him on how to live with it.

Spiritual support offers the needed help to a patient to have hope in life again during and after the surgery and treatment procedure (Hudson & Ogden, 2016). Conclusively, I have come to understand the need for perioperative nurses to understand the possible implications of the illness from the patient’s perspective to facilitate their recovery and offer the needed emotional support during their recovery period (Nelson et al., 2016).


Gouin, J., & Kiecolt-Glaser, K., J. (2012). The Impact of Psychological Stress on Wound Healing: Methods and Mechanisms. Immunol Allergy Clin North America, 31(1), 81-93

Hudson, B., F. & Ogden, J. (2016). Exploring the Impact of Intraoperative Interventions for Pain and Anxiety Management During Local Anesthetic Surgery- A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 31(2), 118-133

Marks, R. (2015). Non-Operative Management of Knee Osteo-arthritis Disability. International Journal of Chronic Diseases & Therapy (IJCDT), 1(2), 9-16

Nelson, G., Altman, A., D., Nick, A., Meyer, A., L., Ramirez, P., T., Achtari, C., Antrobus, J., Huang, M., S., Wijk, L., Acheson, N., Ljungqvist, O., & Dowdy, C., S. (2016). Guidelines for pre- and intra-operative care in gynecologic/oncology surgery: Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) Society Recommendations- Part 1. Gynecologic Oncology, 140(2), 313-322

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2010). Nursing and national competency standards for Registered nurse. Retrieved from:

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