Nurse Liaisons Smooth Perioperative Experience

Liaison activity increases patient satisfaction regarding communication, eases relatives' anxiety
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative nurse liaisons for family members of patients undergoing surgical procedures may help family members manage stress and view the process in a more positive light, according to an article in the August issue of the AORN Journal.

Kimberly Ann Stefan, R.N., of Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, Colo., reported on a nurse liaison program that her institution began in 2004 to inform and support family members of patients undergoing surgical procedures.

Stefan writes that the first choice for the liaison position was an operating room (OR) nurse, but she held the position only six months before returning to the OR. It turned out that post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses were well suited to the position, the author writes, and eight nurses (most from the PACU) were hired to serve as the liaison on different days while continuing work in the PACU or pre-surgery care unit on a per diem basis. According to the article, positive outcomes of the program included less anxiety among patients' family members, better-informed patients, and letters of praise for the liaisons from patients.

"As a result of this program, the facility's patient satisfaction survey scores related to communication had a marked improvement by June 2009," the author writes.

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