It’s incredibly normal to feel anxiety or jitters before a surgery. Day Procedure Unit Nurse Manager Summa Lewington said nurses were highly trained to detect if patients were nervous.
A number of the team have also completed Mental Health First Aid course through the Hospital, or were also employed in the mental health field.

“Often our nurses will pick up signals from a patient during their admission that they are very nervous,” Ms Lewington said.

“A nurse will ask questions or point out that they seem uncomfortable and explore that further.
“Often patients who are on anxiety medication or have a documented history of mental health might be more aware of their heightened anxiety and able to articulate their feelings or ask for help.

“With other patients our nurses might just get a general feeling or pick up on body language that they are nervous.”

What else we can offer

Ms Lewington said patients could be offered mild sedatives to ease pre-surgery anxiety.

“A nurse can call the anaesthetist and request a mild sedative. It is up the discretion of the anaesthetist if these drugs are administered based on a numbers of factors,” she said.

“Our aim at Murdoch is to make sure you are comfortable and well-informed about your surgery so we do everything possible to reduce nerves prior. It is important to us that you have a positive experience here at our hospital.”

Ms Lewington said an informed patient is much less anxious than an uninformed patient.
“Whilst patients are waiting to be admitted by a nurse in the admissions waiting area we have implemented a patient care assistant rounding program,” she said.

“This program helps patients with any queries they have, informs them of general flow and process of what is to come next. As an extra touch of comfort we also provide warm blankets for your stay.”

For more information about surgery and specialists at St John of God Murdoch Hospital click here.

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