How frequently do you wake the patient in the recovery room?

  1. I was asked how many minutes you wake the patient up and i answered 30 mins. Can someone correct me. Thanks
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   brownbook
    Were you asked at a job interview or on a test?

    If it was a test I'd like to know the options, every 5 - 10 - 15 minutes?

    In a job interview I would say I would closely monitor the patient...as in not even leave their bedside....for maybe ten minutes. I hate to put an exact time, sometimes you have to go with your "gut" feeling. Then gently try to arouse them. I would gently tap or shake them ask how they were. I would expect, accept, a mumbled response and eye opening. If they were not responsive to that..... I still would not leave their bedside and maybe give them five more minutes. If they still had no response to gentle...or even slightly more "aggressive", attempts by me to arouse them I might, or would, notify anesthesia.

    This is assuming they are on oxygen, pulse oximeter, cardiac monitoring, blood pressure monitoring, and their vital signs were stable.
    Last edit by brownbook on Dec 7
  4. by   HeySis
    It would certainly depend on the patient.... If they are not awake and all vitals are stable I don't even try until I have completed my first assessment and charted it. I also stay at bedside during the entire process. Once that has been done, what I do next depends on if they have an airway in place, someone on my team is holding their airway manually to keep patent, or if they have been patent the entire time in PACU. There are too many variables to give a one answer fits all.

    When I do start to try to wake, I will speak to the patient and see if there is a response by calling their name. If everything is stable I'll try that every 5 minutes a couple of times before I move onto a firm shake of the shoulder (as long as thats not the area worked on).

    I leave sternal rubs for patients that have been unresponsive for a long period of time, or their respiratory status is become unstable and I have tried to rouse them in other ways, often when we can get them awake they breath better.

    It's worrisome when a lot more time then normal has passed and there has been no response. No nose scratch, twitch, mumbled word. I've had this before and we tried lots of different things including sternal rub, Narcan and Flumazenil and then were considering if the patient had stroked out.

    I would not wait a full 30 minutes before even trying to get a response, if I only tried every 30 minutes and something was wrong I would be delaying treatment instead of finding root causes.

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