An Ambulatory Surgery Center PreOp Nurse’s Guide To Cardiac Testing – Part 2 The Echocardiogram

This is blog 2 of 3 that explains the ins and outs of pre-admissions cardiac testing from my perspective. As an anesthesiologist, with over 30 years of experience, I’ve done everything from open heart and liver transplant to fast-paced ASCs and pain management. My goal is to provide a common-sense explanation that helps ASC preop nurses to better understand cardiac testing in the context of a preop evaluation for ambulatory surgery. 

So here’s what I can tell you: If stranded on a deserted island (or is it a desert island!?) doing anesthesia on old folks and I could have only one cardiac test, the cardiac echo would be it. Hands down. Stop the show.

An Ambulatory Surgery Center PreOp Nurse’s Guide to Cardiac Testing - Part 1 EKG

20 years ago, most ASCs typically cared for ASA 1 and 2 patients: young, relatively healthy patients having simple, relatively non-invasive surgery. Fast forward to 2021 - as advances in anesthesia techniques, surgical techniques, and an overall better understanding of minimizing risk for ambulatory surgical patients has evolved, most ambulatory surgery center preop surgical nurses today will routinely care for at least some ASA 3 patients. 

As an ambulatory surgical nurse, you know what that means: older, sicker patients with more cardiac problems. Frequently, these patients come with either (1) a slew of pre-admissions documentation that you have to weed through or (2) nothing at all. It seems like there’s never just the right amount!

Patient Satisfaction: Our Top 5 Tips

Patient satisfaction can make or break the success of your ASC. As an anesthesiologist, I broke down 5 changes you can implement to keep your patients happy without costing you anything!  Here are my thoughts:

Are You Prepared for the Boom Ahead?

In these dark days of closed facilities and furloughed/terminated staff, it is easy to get caught up in how unfair, unforeseen, and terribly depressing this situation has been for ambulatory surgery centers and the world.  

Code Pineapple

We live in a hyper-partisan, hyper-sensitive, hyper-litigious society. We are also addicted to our social media. The two can be an explosive combination.

10 Things To Do TODAY While Your ASC Is Shut Down/Slowed Down – Part 2

So you’re shut down or slowed down because of the coronavirus. We are all a bit worried, fearful and even angry about what has happened. In dark times like these, I find it helps to stay busy, and know that very soon, to rip-off the classic line from Annie – “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”. This pandemic WILL end in the near future, and the end is likely to be just as rapid as the onset.

So what to do while you are waiting? Here’s Part 2 of my list of 10 things every ASC can do to stay busy and come out the other side of this pandemic stronger and more prepared than ever:

Wash Your Face After You Wash Your Hands to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

DISCLAIMER -  I am not Anthony Fauci, MD or Deborah Birx, MD.  I am not speaking for the CDC and I don’t have any randomized clinical trials to point to.  What I do have is common sense. So here’s my thought: We should be washing our faces with soap and warm/hot water, not just our hands.  

10 Things To Do TODAY While Your ASC Is Shut Down/Slowed Down

So you’re shut down or slowed down because of the coronavirus.  We are all a bit worried, fearful and even angry about what has happened.  In dark times like these, I find it helps to stay busy, and know that very soon, to rip-off the classic line from Annie – “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”.  This pandemic WILL end in the near future, and the end is likely to be just as rapid as the onset.

Why a McGrath is the Only Laryngoscope You Need

First things first: I have ZERO, ZIP, NADA relationship with McGrath.

A New ASC Nurses's Guide on How to Start a Painless IV

Starting IVs is a crucial part of being an excellent ambulatory care nurse. While painless IV cannulations can be a challenging skill to master, they are vital to your patient’s recovery. Here’s our 5 steps to starting an IV for new nurses (or nurses who need a refresher):