Patients' teaching and their preparedness for discharge after a day surgery

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


This study presents the details of a descriptive study conducted at the Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Islamabad, on patients who had undergone a day surgery. The study aimed to explore and describe the process and content of patients' discharge teaching as well as the level of patients' preparedness for self-care at home after receiving the discharge teaching. The study sample consisted of 60 patients of all the adult patients who had been admitted in the surgical day care unit (SDCU) at SIH, from October to November, 2008. Data were collected through participant observations and patients' interviews respectively. The findings revealed that none of the patients had received complete information on all the required aspects of teaching to prepare them for self-care at home. Doctors and nurses both were involved in discharge teaching, but it was fragmented and uncoordinated. In most of the cases, verbal information was provided to the patients and / or their family members at the unit reception counter. In their interviews, although 58% of the patients expressed satisfaction with the instructions for self-care at home, 95 % of all patients had questions/concerns about various aspects of care, including pain management; take home medications, wound care, possible complications, and activity level. The study findings indicate that patients' discharge teaching for self-care after a day surgery showed much room for improvement at the study setting. Therefore, it calls for urgent attention on the part of the hospital management to improve the discharge teaching process in the SDCU. The unit staff, especially nurses should be provided comprehensive training for effective discharge teaching. This study has implications for nurses working in surgical day care units specifically, and for the nurses working in other areas of the hospital, in general. The findings of this study may have significance for nurse clinicians, nursing faculty and hospital administrators that are similar to SIH.

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