Do you have a friend or loved one going into surgery soon? Is your grandmother preparing for hip surgery or your sister in law waiting to get her knee replaced? Often in times of stress the ones we look to for support are the ones who are counting on us to help them through their times of need.
According to the CDC, the total number of inpatient surgery procedures performed in 2014 topped over 51.4 million. Inpatient procedures could include a total hip replacements, total knee replacements, or a coronary artery bypass graft. Especially during this time of year, breast cancer patients undergo mastectomy’s and breast reconstruction. Every year, these millions of Americans enter the hospital overwhelmed, and at times, under supported. Never mind the overcrowded hospital waiting rooms, the hurried doctors, the understaffed nurses, but patients go into surgery every day with a limited, or nonexistent, support system.
Some simple, but effective ways, you can support your loved one, friend, colleague, after surgery is by just being there. Whether this means visiting them at the hospital, accompanying them on post-op appointments, or coordinating a visit once they return home. Keep in mind that you should plan your visit ahead of time, so as not to interfere with other appointments, also the patient can physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare. Another thing you can do to easily support a patient is by knowing post-surgery etiquette and hygiene. A lot of things can be bothersome to patients just out of surgery, so make sure you do not do anything to cause your friend discomfort during your visit, such as sneezing, coughing, not washing your hands, etc. Another common thing you can do to show that you care is to bring a gift. While flowers and balloons are common, and thoughtful, gifts, they have a small window of time in which they can be cherished. Instead, it is highly recommended you bring a present that could be considered useful even after they leave the hospital. This could include a great book, a cozy blanket, or comfortable clothing.
Instead of spending your money on a bouquet that will wilt within the week, make an investment in something that doesn’t just make the patient look better, but feel better.