Enhanced Recovery After Surgery—The Importance of the Perianesthesia Nurse on Program Success

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Continued advancements in perioperative care and anesthesia technology have improved surgical outcomes and accelerated the patient's ability to resume preoperative activities. With the current emphasis on decreased utilization of expensive hospital resources, a shorter length of stay while maintaining patient satisfaction is encouraged for maximum reimbursement. Through the implementation of evidence-based protocols that standardize care and promote patient medical optimization, the surgical stress response, complications, and time spent in the hospital can be reduced. Enhanced recovery after surgery uses a multidisciplinary and multimodal evidence-based approach to maximize patient recovery. Perianesthesia nurses are critical to its success and have an obligation to understand and participate in the process to optimize patient outcomes. After completing this educational article, the reader will be able to recognize the importance of the perianesthesia nurse in implementing an enhanced recovery after surgery program; review the patient benefits of enhanced recovery; and describe the impact of multimodal pain management on patient length of stay and patient mobility.

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