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Post-Surgery Recovery Checklist: For You, Your Family & Your In-Home Nurses

So, you just had a procedure, and you’re leaving the hospital to continue your recovery at home. Now what?

With the right preparation and additional care from an in-home nurse who comes to you, on your schedule, you can heal faster and reduce your risk of complications or hospital readmissions.

To support your recovery journey, we’ve compiled top tips from our experienced Registered Nurse network on how you can set yourself, your loved ones, and your private duty nursing team up for success with after-surgery home care.

Pre- & Post-Surgery Recovery To-Dos for You

Your usual daily tasks and upkeep will likely be last on your mind when you return home after surgery, so having a strategic game plan and a safe place to start your healing journey is key.

  • Meal Prep: Cook and store nutritious foods before the procedure to fuel your body in recovery.
  • Tackle To-Dos: Take care of laundry, dishes, and other chores ahead of time, so you can come back to clean clothes and a clean home.
  • Stay Entertained: Record your favorite shows and movies for easy access once you return.
  • Get Outside: Make the most of the great outdoors while you can — you may need to wait a while before you can be out and about again.
  • Arrange Transportation: Someone will likely need to drive you to and from the hospital.
  • Listen Intently: Try to absorb as much as you can when the doctor shares your post-operative care instructions. They’ll often send you home with a printed guide too, just in case.
  • Rest, Rest, Rest: It may be tempting to return to your routine the second you start feeling better, but giving your body adequate time to heal will benefit health outcomes in the long run.

Post-Surgery Recovery To-Dos for Loved Ones

Family members can serve as an essential component of after-surgery home care, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. They can take care of things you can’t handle on your own, and they can help co-create a care plan with your healthcare team.

  • Take Notes: Be sure a loved one jots down details of the doctor’s post-surgery instructions. You may feel a bit “out of it,” making it difficult to effectively retain the information.
  • Ask the Care Team: Professionals will help you gauge when it’s best for you to return to regular physical, work, or leisure activities. Family members can help facilitate the conversation.
  • Mind the Medication: Loved ones should pay extra attention to the timing, dosage, and types of medications you’ll be taking during your post-surgery recovery.
  • Provide Support: Family members should be there to support you. Laying down a favorite blanket, cooking up a favorite meal, or simply asking how you feel makes all the difference.
  • Get the Home in Order: While you’re prioritizing recovery, your support system can prioritize groceries, cleaning, and other around-the-house tasks.
  • Know When a Nurse Is Needed: Family is everything, but it’s not the only thing when it comes to after surgery home care. You and your family may need an in-home nurse too.

Post-Surgery Recovery To-Dos for In-Home Nurses

Whether in tandem with loved ones or on your own, it’s a smart move to hire a nurse after surgery. Private duty nurses can come to your home and provide care that requires advanced medical expertise. Here’s how they can help:

  • Checking Vitals: Your in-home Registered Nurse (RN) will start with the basics — like your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and temperature — keeping your body in check.
  • Wound & Drain: If applicable to your procedure, a private nurse can provide expert wound care at home to help you heal faster. There’s no need for your family to deal with treating these sensitive areas when a trusted nurse advocate is by your side.
  • Complex Care: From IV antibiotics and catheters to ostomy, PND, and VAD, these more complex care tasks are usually best left to a professional rather than a loved one.
  • Home Health Medication Management: When you return from the hospital, you may be given a whole new spectrum of meds you aren’t used to taking. Medication management involves managing pills, injections, intravenous infusions, and more — and a qualified nurse keeping track of these daily regimens can significantly improve health outcomes and overall well-being.
  • Pain Management: If you’re experiencing serious pain, an in-home nurse can step in to provide potential antidotes. You can trust the experts to keep pain at bay as you recover.
  • Preventing Blood Clots & Pneumonia: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pneumonia can still happen even after you go home. Compression stockings, a sequential compression device (SCD), intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC), and keeping up with breathing exercises are crucial. Your in-home nurse can help with all the above.

Support a Smoother Recovery with Navi Nurses

Heal faster and more effectively with support from our network of private duty nurses. With real-world medical expertise, they focus on the wants and needs of the whole person after surgery using a straightforward self-pay model. 

Request on-demand care for yourself or a loved one today by calling us at (480) 482-1891 or reach out here. You’ll be heard by a medical professional right away.