To assess orientation in the PACU, once my patients are awake enough to have a prayer of knowing the answers, I ask all of them (except young pedi) some version of the "pop quiz":
1. Can you tell me where you are?
2. Can you tell me what day of the week it is?
3. Do you know what surgery you had today (or, if they are more awake, name of surgeon)?
4. Something else like who is the president of the United States, what is your birthday, who is in the Superbowl, etc.
When I was on orientation, we had a patient who had undergone a craniotomy, so after cranial nerve assessment, assessing orientation was my next priority. The patient was an adorable little old lady who, unbeknownst to us, was very feisty. I leaned over so she could hear me and said, "I'm going to ask you a few questions that I ask all of my patients. Do you know where you are?" She nodded. "Can you tell me where you are?" I asked. She opened her eyes a tiny slit and declared (in a voice that clearly indicated that I
had lost my mind), "I'm RIGHT HERE." Guess she told me...
My mom had several strokes. After one, the PT was trying to walk with my mom and said "Katherine, you're leaning to the left.". Mom's response: "that's my politics."
Last edit by schooldistrictnurse on Apr 10, '13
: Reason: Added quotation marks