Collaborative problems Vs. Complications...?

  1. I am doing a postop care plan of my patient who recieved ACL reconstruction surgery. I have to list two collaborative problems (w/ interventions), and then five complications (w/ rationales) that the PACU nurse can expect.

    Arent collaborative problems and complications interchangeable? Cant "PC: SSI" be listed both as a collaborative problem, and a complication?

    I am slightly confused here.. since I am not sure what the difference is, and even after reading my notes and textbook, cant find a good answer.:icon_roll
  2. Visit whiteoleander5 profile page

    About whiteoleander5

    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 205; Likes: 81
    Specialty: Taking one day at a time...


  3. by   Daytonite
    I would say that the complications the PACU nurse could expect would be related to complications of anesthesia.
    • breathing problems (atelectasis, hypoxia, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism)
    • hypotension (shock, hemorrhage)
    • thrombophlebitis in the lower extremity
    • elevated or depressed temperature
    • any number of problems with the incision/wound (dehiscence, evisceration, infection)
    • fluid and electrolyte imbalances
    • urinary retention
    • constipation
    • surgical pain
    • nausea/vomiting (paralytic ileus)
    Some of these things can be handled independently to a point and then the doctor needs to be notified when/if they worsen.

    What is PC: SSI? I wish you wouldn't use abbreviations.
  4. by   gritscofc
    I'm a nursing student and also was confused about the difference between potential complications (PC) and collaborative problems. From what I can understand potential complications is encompassed in collaborative problems. Per my text book, "Collaborative problems are potential or actual complications of disease or treatment that nurses treat with other health care providers, most frequently physicians". So for care plans collaborative problems should include not only potential problems but also existing actual problems. So you were right, they are essentially the same. Hope this is helpful for future confused students.
  5. by   MamaStacey
    This helped me on a care plan, thank you very much!