feeling guilty about discharge

  1. Hi, I've been working on this medsurg floor for about two weeks, and it's been awhile since I've had surgery patients. I'm also a relatively new RN (13 months). I'm feeling very guilty, and I need some advice from more experienced RNs.

    I'm concerned about one of my lap appy discharges. I gave info about appendicitis, how to self care after surgery (take it easy, pain management and finishing the full course of antibiotics), follow up appointment. When to seek medical attention (fever, increased pain, or worsening of symptoms).

    Shortly after the patient left, I realized that I probably should have also discussed how the pt. should care for the incision sites. (duh!!) He was allowed to shower and this was written on the discharge note given to the patient, but I didn't discuss this in detail. I should have elaborated on things like: not bathing, not removing the steristrips but allowing them to fall off, stuff like this.... I tried phoning the patient after he left and called both phone #s on file, but did not reach anyone on either number. There was also no answering machine, so I was not able to leave a message.

    In future, I will be more careful with all my discharges. I will also make sure to review all my surgery nursing articles, textbooks, and notes. However, the guilt I feel is not subsiding. Is this warranted? Should I be feeling so worried and guilty about this patient? What should I do to make this better? Any constructive comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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