Your Health Care Team Lung Surgery
There are many people who help care for you when you have lung surgery. Each member of your health care team has a special role in your care. The focus of each member of your team is you. Like the picture below, you are the center of attention. Please read on for more information about your team members.
Your surgeon is the doctor who is doing your surgery. Your surgeon directs your care to meet your needs and leads your health care team members.
Your anesthesiologist is the doctor who provides anesthesia and care for you during your surgery. A nurse who has training in anesthesia may work with your doctor.
Fellows and residents are the doctors who work in thoracic surgery as part of their training. Fellows are surgeons who have finished their general surgery training. They are doing training in thoracic surgery. Residents are doctors who are doing their general surgery training.
Advanced practice providers are nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants. They work closely with your surgeon and you. They work with you from the time of your first work-up visit through your last follow-up visit.
Nurses and nursing assistants are the members of your health care team who help you with your daily care while you are in the hospital. Nurses are the primary team members who provide care for you while you are in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit (B4/5). They help you with your medicines, provide education for you and your family, and work closely with the other members of your health care team. Nurses also do assessments during the day and night for your safety. They share the information they gather with your other team members. Nursing assistants help you with care such as eating and bathing.
Pharmacists have special training in medicines. There are pharmacists in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit (B4/5) who make sure your medicines are correct, safe, and effective.
A case manager or social worker is a team member who helps you with any special needs you may have as you prepare to go home. These needs may include lab draws, home health, or rehab placement.
Support staff includes the surgeon’s secretary, Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit (B4/5) secretary, Thoracic Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and nurse manager of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit.
The secretaries often help with scheduling and paperwork. Your surgeon’s secretary may help you schedule some tests and appointments. He or she may also help you fill out Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) papers or disability papers. The unit secretary helps with the daily work on the hospital unit.
This includes answering the phones and arranging for any tests you need while in the hospital.
The Thoracic CNS and nurse manager work together to make sure you and your family are well cared for and comfortable. The CNS checks with you to make sure your questions are answered and your needs are met. Before you leave the hospital, the CNS gives you a food diary to use after discharge to make sure you’re eating enough. The nurse manager of the unit works to keep the unit running smoothly. He or she is another person who can help if you have questions or concerns.
Clinical nutritionists have special training in healthy eating. A nutritionist works with you to make sure you have the nutrients and calories you need to recover from surgery.
Respiratory therapists help care for you and your lungs. They work with you so you can cough and deep breathe well. They help with breathing treatments when needed.
Housekeeping and maintenance staff work to keep the hospital and its equipment in good condition. Housekeeping staff work to keep your room and the rest of the hospital clean. Maintenance staff work to keep all equipment at the hospital working properly.
Technicians or techs (lab and x-ray) make sure your health care team members have the information they need to care for you. The lab techs (phlebotomists) draw your blood. The x-ray techs take x-rays of you, most often your chest.
Consult services may include physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), or diabetes management. Your surgeon works with the consult services that meet your special needs.
Your family members and friends are very important members of your team. Supporting you and your loved ones is the focus of each of your health care team members. When you think of ideas about how your health care team members can help you or your loved ones, please share those ideas with a member of your health care team.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 06/21/2012
Copyright © 06/21/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7367
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