A Message from Amanda Richey, Nurse and Co-Founder
The post anesthesia recovery nurse is the first person you see as you wake up from ambulatory surgery. I have been that nurse for a decade now, and have cared for countless patients as they woke up under my care. As they begin to open their eyes and become conscious, there is always a moment as they realize “Wow, I don’t feel ready to go home but I have to leave soon”. This realization carries so much weight I can see it in every one of my patients' eyes. It becomes clear this is what they’ve been preparing for; but haven’t been able to imagine how hard it would be.
Great rewards don’t come without sacrifices, and that holds true for any surgery. No matter whether patients undergo surgery on their hearts or noses, there are considerable risks associated with an invasive action on the human body and full anesthesia. And these risks are not free of symptoms and side effects. Surgery is an investment on ourselves and our physique, but what is our insurance policy against the risks that accompany it? How can we secure great surgical outcomes and our safety? The panic I saw in the eyes of my patients sparked our ideas for new and better solutions for patient safety and healing at home. Their concerned questions like “Can my mom really take care of me after this surgery?”, “Do I want my husband to see me like this?”, “Is this too much to burden my friends and family with?”, and “Am I sure they know what they are doing?” showed the need for medical professionals who can accompany patients along the first steps after having to leave my recovery room.
Often, my patients started pleading with me to leave the surgery center with them; and I had to tell them that I couldn't. “I work here and you’re ready to go home, all your vitals are good!”, I’d have to tell them. And here’s a fact: Yes! Patients are completely ready to leave the recovery room with all its emergency equipment and medical capabilities. But that doesn’t eliminate the need for the caring attention of a medical professional who can tend to needs as long as patients aren’t able to care for themselves. When questions or requests come up, patients deserve someone who can relieve discomfort, answer questions, and can detect a situation that requires the physician’s attention before it becomes a serious danger.
Time and time again after having to say goodbye to my patients without being able to accompany their further steps, I saw the same needs left unmet on a daily basis. So we set out to find a way to find ways to provide them with the nursing support we believe every ambulatory surgery patient deserves. This is where oveRNight RN came from.