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They bring answers and comfort to patients - It's PeriAnesthesia Nurses Week (Feb. 1-7)

February 05, 2016
Perianesthesia nurses

The nation's more than 60,000 perianesthesia nurses are highlighting and celebrating their work during PeriAnesthesia Nurse Awareness Week (PANAW), Feb. 1-7, which is observed throughout the United States, including at Baystate Health.

“Patients are vulnerable when they come in for surgery and we are able to answer any questions they have and help calm their nerves. We also care for them post-surgery, again, comforting them and managing any pain they may have,” said Alison Colburn, RN, perianesthesia nurse at Baystate Medical Center.

What do perianesthesia nurses do?

According to the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN), perianesthesia nurses specialize in overseeing patients who are recovering from anesthesia, as patients regain consciousness after surgery or other medical procedures.

They are responsible for monitoring a patient's vital signs: heart and respiration rate, blood pressure, and temperature, as well as responding to any uncommon reactions a patient may experience while recovering from anesthesia.

The nurses act as a reassurance to the patient that everything is okay, and their emotions are normal from the anesthetic.

Besides caring for the patient’s direct needs, perianesthesia nurses also discuss additional care that is required at home for optimal post-surgery recovery.

In the photo

From left to right: Dominique Vaughn OA, perianesthesia nurses Alison Colburn RN, Gina Mesick RN and Betsy Gianfelice RN, as well as Esther Reid PCT, all from Pod C in Baystate's Chestnut Surgery Center.

Both Dominique and Esther provide assistance to the nurses and patients.