Communication is Key
Communication and cooperation between you and your anesthesia provider are essential to the anesthesia process and its safety. Before surgery, a preoperative interview with the anesthesiologist at Rochelle Community Hospital provides valuable information that helps determine your care. It is equally important to communicate with your anesthesia provider after your surgery. The medications you have been given can remain in your body for 24 hours or more after they have been administered; you won’t be “back to your old self” until the anesthetic has been totally eliminated. Of course, you should never hesitate to ask your anesthesiologist any questions you might have – before or after your anesthesia is administered.
There are three basic types of anesthesia:
- General Anesthesia: produces a loss of sensation throughout the entire body. Patients receiving general anesthesia are completely “asleep” throughout the procedure.
- Regional Anesthesia: produces a loss of sensation to a specific region of the body. Types of regional anesthesia include subarachnoid block (spinal) anesthesia, epidural anesthesia and some specialized techniques that can put a specific body part (e.g., arm) to sleep.
- Local Anesthesia: produces a loss of sensation to a small specific area of the body. Patients receiving sutures to close a wound may receive local anesthesia.
A preoperative interview in consultation with your anesthesiologist will determine which anesthetic is best for you. The type of anesthesia administered is based on multiple factors such as your physical condition, the type of surgery being performed, allergies to medications and in some cases, your personal preference. Frank and open discussion with your anesthesiologist is key in the selection of the best anesthetic for you.
In particular, you must speak freely and follow instructions closely regarding your intake of medications (prescription, non-prescription, and herbal medications), food or beverages before anesthesia. Such substances can react negatively with anesthetic agents.
Anesthesia is one of several major components of your surgical procedure. During the procedure, the anesthetic permits you to be free of pain. Your anesthetic will be administered with the highest degree of professionalism including constant monitoring of every important body function. As changes occur with your reactions to anesthesia, the anesthesiologist responds with modifications of the anesthetic to ensure your safety and comfort.
Anesthesia means freedom from pain during surgery. All anesthesia care is provided with the highest degree of professionalism. Sensitive, sophisticated and state-of-the-art equipment monitors every important function of your body. In response to your body’s reactions, the anesthesiologist modifies your anesthetic as needed.
But anesthesia care is not confined just to surgery. The process also refers to activities that take place – before and after – an anesthetic is given. Before anesthesia, a preoperative interview with your anesthesiologist supplies valuable information that helps determine your care. Open communication and cooperation are essential during the interview.
What is Conscious Sedation?
This type of sedation induces an altered state of consciousness that minimizes pain and discomfort through the use of pain relievers and sedatives. Conscious sedation provides a safe and effective option for patients undergoing minor surgeries or diagnostic procedures. The number and type of procedures that can be performed using conscious sedation have increased significantly as a result of new technology and state-of-the-art drugs. All Rochelle Community Hospital’s anesthesia providers and designated staff RNs are qualified to administer conscious sedation. State-of-the-art monitoring is used regardless of the location that the sedation is administered. Conscious sedation allows patients to recover quickly and resume normal daily activities in a short period of time.
When is Conscious Sedation Administered?
Conscious sedation is administered in hospitals, outpatient facilities, e.g., ambulatory surgery centers, doctors’ offices, etc., to facilitate procedures such as the following:
- Breast biopsy
- Minor foot surgery
- Minor bone fracture repair
- Plastic/reconstructive surgery
- Dental prosthetic/reconstructive surgery
- Endoscopy (example: diagnostic studies and treatment of stomach, colon, and bladder)
Who Can Administer Conscious Sedation?
Conscious sedation is extremely safe when administered by qualified providers. Anesthesiologists, other physicians, dentists, and oral surgeons are qualified providers of conscious sedation. Specifically trained Registered Nurses may assist in the administration of conscious sedation. At Rochelle Community Hospital, all providers of conscious sedations are either board certified in anesthesia or have specialty training in the administration of conscious sedation.
Who Should Monitor Conscious Sedation?
Because patients can slip into a deep sleep, proper monitoring of conscious sedation is necessary. Your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen level, and alertness throughout and after the procedure will be monitored by our trained and licensed professionals. The provider monitoring you during your procedure will have no other responsibilities during the procedure. You will have one-on-one care during your procedure.
What are the Side Effects of Conscious Sedation?
A brief period of amnesia after the procedure is not uncommon. Occasional side effects may include headache, hangover, nausea, and vomiting or unpleasant memories of the surgical experience.
What Should Patients Expect Immediately Following the Surgical or Diagnostic Procedure?
One of Rochelle Community Hospital’s qualified providers will monitor you following the procedure. Written postoperative care instructions will be provided for you to take home. We ask that you not drive a vehicle, operate dangerous equipment or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours after receiving conscious sedation. A follow-up phone call usually is made by the healthcare provider to check on the patient’s condition and answer any remaining questions.
Questions to Ask About Conscious Sedation
The following is a list of questions patients should ask prior to the surgical or diagnostic procedure:
- Will a trained and skilled provider be dedicated to monitoring me during conscious sedation?
- Will my provider monitor my breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure?
- Will oxygen be available and will the oxygen content of my blood be monitored?
- Are personnel trained to perform advanced cardiac life support?
- Is emergency resuscitation equipment available on-site and immediately accessible in the event of an emergency?
- Will a trained and skilled provider stay with me during my recovery period and for how long?
- Should a friend or family member take me home?