Young adults' experiences of day surgery: Feeling safe : A qualitative descriptive study

Neely, Kaye L. (Kaye Louise)
Wong, Grace
Jones, Marion
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

The number of procedures being undertaken as day surgery is increasing. Understanding the young adults’ experiences of day surgery in the New Zealand context is central to providing appropriate nursing care.

The purpose of this qualitative descriptive pilot study was to explore and describe the perioperative experience of young adults undergoing a day surgery procedure using a semi structured interview format six to eight weeks post surgery. Five young adults, aged between 18-25 years, who had undergone a general anaesthetic as day surgery patients in a small, private oral surgery unit in New Zealand, were interviewed. The data was analysed thematically.

The overall findings of this study are the perceptions of feeling safe through a positive nurse-patient partnership that is interwoven in the themes. Safety is both physical and psychological.

Themes identified were ‘not knowing’, ‘feeling reassured’, ‘confusion and disorientation’, ‘surprise’, ‘pain and discomfort’, and ‘being good’. Some of the themes identified in this study occurred in more than one time frame of the young adults’ day surgery experience.

The results indicated that even though the participants felt well informed, they did not know what to expect and were surprised with some aspects of their experience. The participants said they needed to feel the presence of the nurse or family immediately post operatively and needed to be cared for.

Recommendations for practice include encouraging perioperative nurses to practice in a positive nurse-patient partnership and ensure information provision is provided in an appropriate manner that they are able to understand and comprehend. Suggested areas for further research include regional and national studies in private and public settings; studies using a diverse range of surgery; studies of nursing practice in various surgery settings in the New Zealand context; and studies looking at interprofessional practice in day surgery settings.

Ambulatory surgery , Patients , Psychology , Surgery
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