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Before, During, and After Cataract Surgery

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By Stephanie Kirby, BSN RN CASC

As a Single Specialty – Ophthalmology Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) you are used to a quick turnaround in patient care. You have just a few minutes to get as much teaching in as possible before your next patient comes rolling in or out. With patient education on the forefront of our minds, I sat down with the staff at one of our employee retreats to discuss options for how we could maximize our efforts in teaching and preparing our patients for their surgical experience. What could we do? How could we help ensure our patients were well-educated in the short amount of time they are in our care? A lot of ideas were thrown around, but there was one idea that stood out to all of us. We wanted to make a video of the patient experience that could be shared with physician offices and played in our waiting area so the patients are able to visualize and have time to process what is going to take place.

In the planning phase, we wanted to make this video around 10 minutes or less. Focusing on all of the areas from registration to discharge, and highlighting portions of the discharge instructions so when the patients arrive in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) it was almost like a review. We developed a script for each area that emphasized important information the patients would need to know. Soon after, we reached out to a local production company and shared with them our vision for the video. They took our ideas and ran with it. Production day arrived and everyone was ready to start walking through the process of the jobs they do everyday. But, with a camera there closely capturing every movement from different angles…well, let’s just say we have a good gag reel we still watch from time to time!

We were able to view the final product all together as a group and couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. The videos were tailored to get a majority of the big picture that all patients would go through. With the help of the production team, adding in the different nuances for each surgeon to get a more focused view, especially where the discharge instructions were concerned, helped make each video stand out. Feedback received from the physician offices and patients were all very positive. PACU nurses began noticing the patients were more prepared by the time they hit the recovery room. SUCCESS! Our patients were coming in more prepared (and less nervous). Discharge instructions became more streamlined. New staff to the facility found this video a very informative piece of orientation. The entire production process lasted around four months, but the positive impact it had on our patient care and education processes have been invaluable.