When patients make the life-changing decision to have bariatric surgery, a lot of planning, preparation and education follow. Mount Auburn Hospital’s specially trained team of bariatric nurses is part of your team and ready to help you start a new chapter of your life.
“It’s exciting to be able to care for bariatric patients,” says Shelicia McGibbon, R.N., bariatric nurse at Mount Auburn Hospital. “They are not only on a journey to lose weight, but also to improve their health and overall quality of life, which makes them extremely motivated to begin their new lifestyle.”
How bariatric nurses can help
McGibbon says her specialized training allows her to meet the needs of bariatric patients and anticipate any complications after surgery. There are many aspects of caring for bariatric patients that are unique, such as:
- Operating equipment that assists patients. Many bariatric patients need physical support and accommodating beds and chairs. Specialized equipment at Mount Auburn Hospital helps them on their road to recovery in a comfortable environment.
- Continuous monitoring of oxygen levels. Bariatric patients are at increased risk for sleep disorders and respiratory depression. McGibbon says they closely monitor bariatric patients’ oxygen levels to ensure there aren’t any complications.
- Checking vitals more frequently. Many bariatric patients have comorbidities and, therefore, are at greater risk for complications following surgery. McGibbon’s team checks their vitals every four hours to make sure they are recovering safely.
- Closely observing perforations, bleeding or abdominal pain. Bariatric patients are at increased risk for surgical site infections. In addition, they are also more susceptible to blood clots. McGibbon says close monitoring helps them stay ahead of any complications.
- Managing food and drink intake. Bariatric surgery limits the amount of food a person can eat. Too much food and drink can make them more nauseous. While patients are thoroughly educated before surgery on how much they can eat and drink, McGibbon and her team help them get the nutrients they need and work to prevent nausea.
- Pain management. Experiencing some pain is normal after surgery. Bariatric patients are eager to begin their new lifestyle and are often walking the same day of surgery. That’s why McGibbon always tells patients that they should stay on top of the pain with medication before it escalates too high.
Care at Mount Auburn Hospital
When you’re cared for by Mount Auburn Hospital’s bariatric nurses, you’re in skilled, compassionate hands. “We want our patients to be in a comfortable, safe, healing environment,” says McGibbon. “We’re also here to help them champion a healthy lifestyle and celebrate their success.”
Experience the patient-centered care at Mount Auburn Hospital. Call (617) 499-5094.